Some 957 people are employed by 208 Local Enterprise Office supported companies in Cork West/North, Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has said.
This is the fifth year of employment growth for Local Enterprise Offices nationwide, with 120 net jobs created here in Cork West/North.
Cllr. O’Shea said: “The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are a hugely important part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cork West/North.
“They do Trojan work and these 2018 jobs figures highlight the significant contribution they make to the economy as a whole.
“This is the 5th year in a row of employment growth for the LEOs, which support our indigenous businesses to create jobs locally.
“Not only are they helping small businesses to plan, start and grow, but they are also working closely with their 208 client companies to minimise their Brexit exposure.
“The LEOs will continue to play a key role in 2019 and beyond, ensuring that every small business has access to the support it needs.
“My Fine Gael colleague, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, was delighted to allocate them an additional €5m in Budget 2019 to further support their invaluable work on the ground.”
“Since its inception, the Local Enterprise Office network has been a key element of this Government’s commitment to enterprise development, across all regions in the country.
“It has been hugely successful. LEO-supported companies now account for over 36,000 jobs throughout the country, across such sectors as food, textiles, manufacturing and computing.
“It is particularly pleasing to see them grow in ambition and scale,” Cllr. O’Shea said.
Minister Humphreys said: “The 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide, an initiative of the Government of Ireland, are operated in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities.
“They provide expert training, mentoring and financial assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses who may want to start, develop or grow their company.
“The Local Enterprise Offices have played a key role in preparing small businesses in Ireland for Brexit.
“This includes Brexit Mentoring, Technical Assistance for Micro Exporting grants for small businesses looking to diversify into new markets, the Brexit SME Scorecard, the Trading Online Voucher Scheme for those selling online internationally and LEAN for Micro enabling small companies to trade more effectively and competitively.
Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen said: “The Local Enterprise Offices will also roll out the Brexit Customs Training across the country beginning in February which will enable any small business to learn about the customs import and export procedures that will be required post-Brexit to ensure they can continue to trade effectively with a country outside the single market.”