Open for Business is back at 7.00pm on Thursday nights from the 29th of April on RTÉ One, presented by Ella McSweeney and Richard Curran.

Episode 6

In our final episode of this series of Open For Business, we turn our attention to the retail sector. With so many shops across Ireland finally reopening their doors to customers, we travel to sunny Galway to browse the wares offered by the city's best independent retailers. From the well-established stores to the brand new retailers, Galway’s high streets are finally open for business.

We meet the florist helping families celebrate; the perfumer winning awards for her beautiful fragrances; a fashion designer combining her love of style and comfort; the local cheesemonger that’s welcoming back eager customers; a former fashion stylist who has opened a sustainable fashion store for men, and two sisters in Salthill sharing their love of coffee with the public.

In studio, we chat to Duncan Graham, Managing Director at Retail Excellence Ireland, to explore how retail has been faring since its recent reopening.

It has been a long wait but from this Monday we can all start eating in restaurants again, but for the moment only outside. We visit various different eateries to see what and how they are preparing for a summer outdoors. With so many factors to consider there's no one size fits all approach to creating a plan for eating outside. We talk to a cafe owner with limited space, a Cork restaurant who is creating space and one Kinsale based venue who is choosing to watch this space.

Richard and Ella are also joined in studio by Hospitality Consultant Paul O’Connor, to discuss the ins and outs of these restaurant reopenings.

Finally, we go to Athlone where a pair of industrious siblings are fighting food waste and helping craft brewers become more sustainable with their company, BiaSol.

Episode 5

This week on Open for Business, we look at whether the rise in remote working post Covid, will benefit rural communities. Government policy promotes both remote working and rural relocation. And moving from the city to more rural areas appeals to many - and not just because property is cheaper. Tonight Open for Business takes a look at the practical realities of this dream. If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of employees affected by Covid, and you are currently claiming pandemic supports, you are not eligible to apply for a mortgage.

Richard and Ella are joined in studio by Martina Hennessy, Managing Director at online mortgage platform, Doddl to discuss the practicalities of making the move from cities to rural areas

After a year of working from home, many of us are wondering if we still need that car sitting in our front garden.

We take a drive with racing legend Rosemary Smith who wouldn't dream of giving up her car. Yet some of us have chosen new ways to commute to work, like cycling. With car sales rising again after a record slump, motoring journalist Michael Sheridan explains how Ireland will get back on the road to recovery.

We talk to architect Róisín Murphy about the future of cities and transport in a world changed by the pandemic.

Finally, we profile Lough Ree Access for All, the company that saw first-hand the constant struggles that wheelchair users faced when they tried to enjoy Ireland’s beautiful waterways – and decided to do something about it.

Episode 4

Brexit dominated the headlines until the pandemic stopped Europe in its tracks. The impact of the UK leaving the EU will be felt for generations, none more so than in Ireland. Yet in midst of the political turmoil, lies potential opportunities for Irish businesses.

We'll explore how extra paperwork is lucrative for one custom agent, yet a nightmare for truck drivers on a strict deadline

We’ll be joined in studio by Carol Lynch, partner at BDO Ireland, to discuss the impact of Brexit on businesses and consumers.

And with nightlife effectively closed since March 2020, we take a closer look at the nightlife economy in Ireland: We meet DJ Sunil Sharpe from the Give Us the Night campaign who is fighting to save Ireland's night clubs; drag queens Victoria Secret and Davina Devine hosting Zoom performances; and the comedians, Justine Stafford and Gearoid Farrelly, learning how to go viral.

Richard and Ella will also be discussing the current status of nightlife in Ireland with Kim O’Callaghan of the events and entertainment working group, EPIC.

Finally, we hear from OceanR, the Cork company taking plastics that pollute our oceans, and turning them into sustainable clothing that is sold all over the world.

Episode 3

In a year when so many businesses have been rocked financially by Covid, the charity sector has rather unexpectedly thrived. From the small, local to the huge and well known, charities across the country have been forced to come up with new and often rather chilly ways to raise money.

Joining Ella and Richard in studio is Denise Charlton, CEO of The Community Foundation for Ireland, which has given over €75million in grants to 5,000 organisations over the past 21 years.

All sectors must try and think to the future, yet it's easier for some more than others. Many have seen this as opportunity to reshape workplace culture using technology, others can reimage their business model, but there are those who must wait in hope. Later in the show, we explore some of those businesses, and take a look at future proofing – how businesses can prepare for a world post-pandemic.

Finally, we speak with Sinead McSweeney VP, Public Policy at Twitter EMEA and MD of Twitter Dublin, about the future of the workspace.

Episode 2

The effects of Covid 19 have impacted every sector of Ireland's economy and it's no different when it comes to the business of sport. Sports clubs across the country in 2020 lost almost all of the income they normally generate themselves.

We are joined in studio by Nóirín Hegarty, chair of the Tourism Recovery Oversight Group, to discuss how tourism industry in Ireland is handling the recovery.

From booking trips abroad to our consumer rights when faced with last-minute cancellations, when can we realistically start to think about traveling safely again? Tourism is worth billions to Ireland’s economy and employs thousands across the country. Yet the pandemic has almost destroyed the entire industry. We’ll meet the tour guides with no income, highlight the travel agencies dealing with worried customers, plus we’ll hear from industry experts on how to book a holiday with confidence and what the future of travel could look like, post-pandemic.

We also speak to John Mullins, who has worked in advertising and sports sponsorship and is who a board member of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, about the sports sector and how it will open up again to the public.

We also meet a family who hope their new reusables business, Ecoset, can help eliminate the use of single use plastic and protect our beaches from litter.

Episode 1

We kick off this new series with vaccines. As the vaccine supply controversy rages on, we explore what it takes to mass produce such a vital drug. Open for Business highlights the Irish manufacturers playing their part in the fight against Covid-19.

We talk to Deirdre Robertson of the Economic and Social Research Institution about how the vaccine rollout might affect consumer behaviour.

From the dry ice that keeps vaccines chilled to the machinery that processes its raw materials, we'll follow the complicated supply chain that could make or break Ireland’s plan to vaccinate the entire country.

We are also joined by Colm O’Callaghan of PwC Ireland to discuss government supports and schemes, what’s in place, what’s needed, and what might disappear.

Finally, we meet Marcus O'Laoire, a DJ from Dublin, who since the virus and lockdowns decimated the live music industry has spent a large chunk of 2020 converting an old ambulance into a food truck, serving a range of delicious sandwiches.

Relevant Links

For more information on Enterprise Ireland’s Lean Business Offer, go to:

For more information on support provided by Local Enterprise Offices, visit:

For details on Chambers Ireland’s COVID-19 Information for Business, go to:

For a full list of government supports and schemes, go to: