27 February 2014

High approval of Enterprise Offices among South Dublin businesses: Survey

A survey of local businesses has shown a very positive attitude to the services offered by the Local Enterprise Offices, as well as a willingness to avail of the National Internship Scheme.

The survey of over 100 local businesses took place following a recent Business Breakfast organised by Local TD and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald.

Minister Fitzgerald said “The majority of responses in this survey highlighted the positive interaction local businesses have had with the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), availing of valuable guidance and supports on a number of levels. The respondents also acknowledged the supports provided by local chambers of commerce, in particular the South Dublin Chamber.

“Furthermore, when asked ‘if you would consider hiring an intern?’ the results showed that many of the local businesses were in fact, open to hiring interns. Many had already utilised the National Internship Scheme, Jobbridge and a number of respondents noted that they found the Jobbridge scheme to be a “great” service.

“These findings are very positive, though challenges remain on other fronts. Many SMEs identified the high cost of commercial rates as a particular obstacle. I am pleased that South Dublin County Council recently announced a fund of €1.2million to assist small and medium businesses. This Business Support Grant will be paid as a financial support for businesses of properties with commercial rates bills of €10,000 or less in 2014, and I hope it has a real impact on the ability of local businesses to thrive.

“Viewed as a whole, the patterns emerging from this survey suggest a general improvement in the overall business climate, though there remains a clear need to continue supporting domestic SMEs as the economy recovers.

“Finally, I welcome the new system of LEOs which is expected to be up and running from April and should enhance the services available for local SMEs. As part of the LEO set up, a new Entrepreneurship Fund is being established, which will directly target start-ups by under 25s.

“A Graduate Recruitment Programme is also being implemented, which will allow business graduates to be employed by LEOs. They will be embedded in the Local Authorities and will act as a one stop shop for the business supports currently delivered by County Enterprise Boards and by Local Authorities”.