Over 100 new jobs will be created by 9 small businesses in Clare, Limerick and Tipperary, who have been supported by their Local Enterprise Office.
In Tipperary, Mack Engineering, Horizon Offsite Ltd and Phil Purcell Engineering Ltd will create 42 full and part-time jobs. 38 full-time jobs are being created by three Limerick-based companies, Black Bear Software, Celignis Ltd and ABS Engineering Control, and 26 full-time and part-time new jobs are being created by three Clare companies, AiP Thermoform Packaging Ltd, Core Optimisation and Vanderlust Campervans.
Eamon Ryan, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Limerick, said Enterprise Ireland is working very closely with the councils and with Local Enterprise Offices to encourage economic regional development.
The Local Enterprise Office provide support to business by way of training and development initially. "Perhaps they've done a start your own business course or a management development course, and then there's financial packages available to businesses depending on the number of jobs that they are creating, the capital they might have to spend or marketing," Mr Ryan explained.
Local Enterprise Offices are part of the family of supports set up by the Government which sees the IDA dealing with Foreign Direct Investment, and Enterprise Ireland with indigenous Irish businesses. In 2017, the Local Enterprise Offices assisted 80 businesses which went on to progress to Enterprise Ireland for further support. "That progression pathway is very much there in terms of local enterprise offices starting and developing businesses and then those businesses growing, and going on to Enterprise Ireland for further support," he said.
People starting out or already in business are aware that the supports are available. "One of the issues, I suppose, is that they usually have to have matching funding for these supports so you get 50% grant aid and then you have to have the matching funding to be able to avail of that."
One of the biggest challenges for all businesses, including FDI and bid business, is attracting talent, and finding people to fill jobs, he said. "I would say that small businesses are very resilient. They use different methods of recruitment. I suppose a lot of small businesses don't advertise to get their employees. They get them through friends or through people they know."
"Here in the Mid West we are working with the education training boards, with the regional skills officer, with the three third levels that we have here in Limerick, to assist them in putting on a number of courses, including Springboard courses to try and upskill people and retrain employees so that they are available to take the jobs available nowadays," Mr Ryan said.