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Chamber Lobby for Small Business

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Dundalk Chamber and Chambers Ireland met with Minister Hayes to express their concern over SME – (Small Medium Enterprises) not getting a fair deal with Government, Semi State and Local Authority contracts.

Paddy Malone, Minister Brian Hays and Ian Talbot Chambers Ireland

Paddy Malone was told that some Government bodies were not interpreting their instructions properly by not applying the principle of proportionality. There was flexibility in the system but not enough has been shown by officials.

What we in Dundalk Chamber wanted was a level playing field to allow local Dundalk companies tender for local contracts rather than those being awarded centrally?

We were convinced that this would reduce costs in line with Government targets. Ian Talbot of Chambers Ireland stressed that they were in agreement with the Government on the need to secure value for money on Government contracts.

The Chamber also felt that a single approach to buying everything from paper clips to a major capital project would not achieve the goal of reducing costs.



Successful Debt Relief Seminar

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Dundalk Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with FPM Chartered Accountants delivered a very successful seminar on explaining the new Personal Insolvency legalisation that has recently became law in September 2013.

The Seminar explained Debt Settlement Arrangements (DSAs), Personal Insolvency Arrangements (PIAs), Debt Relief Notices (DRNs) and a summary of the key changes to Bankruptcy under the new Act.  It also explained the opportunity to prepare informal bank and creditor settlement proposals on foot of the new legalisation.  The use of practical examples allowed the audience to clearly understand how each aspect of the legalisation could be used to provide solutions to those with commercial property and personal debt.

Utilising their vast experience of the long established UK legalisation the FPM team explained how based on their experience the types of solutions the legalisation could deliver and allow debtors to “breath” again, return to solvency and commence rebuilding their lives. FPM partners Alison Burnside and Seamas Keating are qualified Insolvency Licence Practitioners in the UK and together with Senior Manager Gary Digney have met the technical requirements and are currently awaiting confirmation from the Insolvency Service of Ireland to act as Personal Insolvency Practitioners.  This is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

Speaking after the seminar Gary explained the importance of FPM’s practical experience gained under the UK legalisation in implementing, administrating and bringing to a conclusion potential commercial solutions to Irish Debtors under the new legalisation.  For further details please contact Gary Digney in FPM Dundalk office on 042938898 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Louth Economic Forum welcomes National Pen jobs announcement

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The Louth Economic Forum has welcomed the announcement that National Pen is to increase its workforce by 200 over the next five years.
Speaking following Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s announcement at the company’s base in Dundalk, the Forum chair, Padraic White, said: “It is tremendous to see a company which has been based in Louth for over a quarter of a century make such a commitment to job creation over a five-year period, placing the Dundalk facility in an increasingly strong position.
“I congratulate National Pen on its success to date and look forward to the Dundalk facility’s continued expansion in the years ahead.”
Michael Curran, Director of Cross-Border and Economic Development, Louth Local Authorities, also welcomed the expansion - “National Pen have shown tremendous commitment to Dundalk since they arrived here over 25 years ago. Today’s announcement that the company are making a long term commitment to job creation must be applauded.
“The presence of this company and other multinationals also supports our efforts to attract further foreign direct investment as they give great confidence to those considering Dundalk as a location.”


Dundalk BIDS congratulates National Pen on continued expansion

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Brian O’Neill, Chairperson of Dundalk Business Investment District Scheme (BIDS) has congratulated National Pen on its latest plans to create 200 jobs over the next five years.
Speaking today (Friday) he said: “National Pen has shown a strong commitment to Dundalk for over 25 years and we have seen it expand with the move to custom made premises last year.
Today’s announcement by the Taoiseach in Dundalk, that National Pen is to increase it’s workforce by 200 over the next five years demonstrates the forward thinking of the company, which with its international headquarters in Dundalk can only be a positive for the town.


Programme of support for local businesses

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Economic research consistently shows companies that export to any country, in any financial climate, perform better than those who don’t.  Research also highlights that exporting companies improve their productivity and achieve levels of growth and economies of scale not possible domestically.

Project Managers Melanie Fitzpatrick Toni Forrester Martina Crawford

It is against this backdrop that the ‘Gateways to Growth – Supply Buy Network’ project was created.  Targeting local border companies who want to increase their sales, this programme of support will help businesses to improve their productivity and grow their sales to levels not possible when supplying locally only. 
Growth of an economy is directly related to exports. If exports increase at a faster pace compared to imports, nothing can stop an economy from being a developed one.  Patrick Matthews, President of the Dundalk Chamber of Commerce said, "Economic growth grew by an average of 6.5% per year between 1990 and 2007 and approximately 50,000 jobs were created annually throughout the 1990s.  Export-driven manufacturing provided an economic dynamism that was reflected in high levels of productivity. Even now, due to the small domestic market in Ireland, almost all manufacturers are exporting." 
Exporting manufactured products is not the only method of export considered by the Gateways to Growth project – tradable service organisations are also challenged to consider the export potential of their intellectual property.  According to the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment in regions such as London exports of services appear to be increasingly replacing goods exports as the major source of external income.
“In recent decades, Ireland has been transformed from an economy based on agriculture and traditional manufacturing to an economy based on high technology and internationally traded service sectors” said Melanie Fitzpatrick, Project Manager for Dundalk Chamber of Commerce.   “Micro businesses who feel they are not large enough to trade internationally or fear making costly mistakes, and are located close to the border with Northern Ireland, are missing out.  The Gateways to Growth programme will help to break down the barriers to export, such as fear, and help local companies to safely test their export systems and procedures.  Businesses not taking advantage of cross border trade are failing to access a lucrative export market”.   
The Gateways to Growth project, which has been awarded funding from the European ’s Regional Development Fund through the INTERTEG IVA Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), will provide opportunities for 300 SMEs at all stages in the supply chain, to meet and sell to potential private buying organisations whilst developing the skills to assist in securing business in new markets. 
Recruitment for the first series of skills development workshops and the initial Meet the Buyer event, scheduled for November, is now underway. This Meet the Buyer event will take place in Monaghan and will attract 150 participants from across N.I and the border regions. All participants will attend 2 workshops prior to participating at the Meet the Buyer event.     
For more details on the programme: you can view www.gatewaystogrowth.ie, contact Melanie or Helen at Dundalk Chamber of Commerce on 042 9336343, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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