North Cork Local Enterprises Office to open in Mallow

Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, has warmly welcomed the launch of the new Local Enterprises Office (LEO) system, and stressed that Mallow will remain central to the operation of the new enterprise support services. “The LEOs are designed to provide more and better services to Irish businesses, which is part of our plan to build on the 61,000 additional jobs created last year, “said Minister Sherlock, speaking at the launch of the support system in Mullingar this week. “It is important that entrepreneurs remain central to the operations of enterprise support and that is why I am particularly looking forward to the launch of the North Cork LEO in Mallow in the very near future. LEOs will have more funding, more staff, and will deliver more and better services in a new improved system for local enterprise supports.”

Establishment of the LEOs is part of overall Government plan to support local job-creation, including other improvements like the new Regional Aid Map, IDA advance facilities and young entrepreneurship competition. Minister Sherlock has confirmed Mallow as the location for the North Cork headquarters of the LEOs.

LEOs will provide a first-stop shop where businesses can access all Government supports in one place – eg Revenue, Dept of Social Protection, Education and Training Boards, Skillnets, Microfinance Ireland and the Credit Review Office

This week’s announcement also marks the dissolution of 35 independent agencies previously involved in providing supports in this area, which will deliver efficiencies and savings. LEOs will simply be offices within local authorities, although they will operate under policy direction and funding from the Minister for Jobs and Enterprise Ireland.

“I would encourage business owners and entrepreneurs in the North Cork and Mallow area to avail of the new, expanded opportunities the LEOs provide,” stressed Minister Sherlock. “We will have new funding of €3.5m (20% extra) in 2014 to support the new service, with a particular focus on supporting young entrepreneurs – under 30s. The LEO combines the expertise of Enterprise Ireland with the broad reach and local knowledge of the Local Authority.”

“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 which 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”, he said.