Waterford Local Enterprise Office is open for business

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation today [Thursday 2nd October] officially launched the Waterford Local Enterprise Office.
The Waterford LEO is part of a network of 31 LEOs which will deliver an improved system of local enterprise supports to start-ups and small businesses across the country – with more staff, more funding, and more services being provided.
Today’s announcement means that from today, people thinking of starting or expanding a business in every part of Waterford will be able to access the full range of State supports provided by different Government bodies – for example Waterford City and County Council, Enterprise Ireland, Revenue, the Department of Social Protection, the Credit Review Office and training bodies .
The establishment of the LEOs will mean that all categories of business – including sole traders, micro businesses and small and medium sized companies – will have access to Government supports and advice. Previously some businesses – for example, companies who were too large to access CEB supports, but were not exporting and therefore did not qualify for Enterprise Ireland supports – fell through the cracks between different agencies.
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD said “This morning we are seeing some very positive jobs news in the multinational sector for Waterford.  It is worth remembering that two thirds of all new jobs are supported by start-ups.”
 “The Waterford Local Enterprise Office will deliver more services and better services to the start-ups and small businesses across the county that we rely on to create the jobs we need, with more staff and more funding. Today is a good day for business in Waterford”.
“A key part of our Action Plan for Jobs and the South East Employment Action Plan is supporting job-creation across every region of the country. Waterford was hit hard by the collapse in employment across the country. Between 2008 and 2011 38,000 jobs were lost in the South East region. It is encouraging that in the last two years employment has increased by over 12,000 across the South East region, and the live register in Waterford has fallen by 14%.
“However we must do more to make the recovery local, and that is why were are making changes such as establishing the Waterford LEO, building advance IDA facilities in Waterford and a new competition to find the best young entrepreneur in Waterford.”
“I am convinced that with the right support by Government, we can build on the progress we have made and help create the jobs we need in Waterford”.
Commenting on the launch, Director of Economic Development, Mr. Lar Power said “The launch of LEO Waterford heralds an exciting time for enterprise in Waterford.  Small businesses and start-ups now have, at their disposal, an enhanced range of business support services.  Services such as business training, mentoring, grant assistance, enterprise education and more are in place to encourage the growth of the small business sector in Waterford.”

“With increased investment, resources and initiatives at LEO Waterford we can look forward to seeing more business success stories, like those of M & D Bakery, Metalman Brewing, CF Pharma and Chia Bia.  Companies like these simply start with an idea and the assistance provided by LEO Waterford has given them the opportunity to expand, create employment, discover new export markets and drive the recovery of our economy.”
New initiatives to the LEO Waterford portfolio include the recently launched Digital Voucher Scheme, which assists businesses in expanding by trading online; Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE), an allocation of €50,000 for an outstanding idea or commercial venture for entrepreneurs under 30 years of age and the SuperValu / Bord Bia collaboration, Food Academy, which gives local food producers access to the national marketplace.

If you have a business idea and want to find out what assistance is available to you contact your Local Enterprise Office at 32, The Mall in Waterford City or the Civic Offices in Dungarvan. Alternatively you can email info@leo.waterfordcouncil.ie.