Laois officially re-establishes its Chamber of Commerce tomorrow - three years after it closed its last one.

The body will hope to attract multinational investment as well as SMEs - acting as a counter-point to the increasingly crowded Dublin market.

"Laois is really on the cusp - it's a thriving business economy," said Laois Chamber CEO Bernie Everard. "Rents are cheaper, there's plenty of opportunity to start and to thrive in a business environment in Laois.

"I think Laois really is a hidden gem, under the radar, that's really now identified its unique selling points."

One of those is its proximity to Dublin, with motorway and rail connections also allowing for relatively easy access to Limerick and Cork.

That has made it a popular location for commuters - though the Chamber hopes to see more of those who live in the county work there too.

That will be helped by a number of big investments slated for Laois - including a new Glanbia cheese factory and a planned European base for Canadian life sciences firm Greenfield Global.

However there is also a growing local business network too.

"There's a really vibrant agri-food sector," Ms Everard said. "There's a really great tourist possibility, with real fantastic attractions that maybe aren't really on the map yet.

"We're looking to attract small, medium and large corporates - and everything in between."

Ms Everard said the county had already enjoyed some up-turn on the back of the country's recovery and now hoped to capitalise on that.

However it is not just Dublin that Laois has to compete with - other counties in Leinster will also be pitching themselves as alternatives to the capital.

Ms Everard said the county's location on the map is a major advantage, as is its readiness to welcome in investors of any size.

"[Laois is] the central location in Ireland," she said. "There's a lot of joined-up thinking in Laois and we're connecting the dots.

"We'd be well positioned to welcome any FDIs in to the county."