With a net gain of 104 jobs last year, there are now 1,270 people employed by 239 Local Enterprise Office supported companies in Clare, according to Fine Gael TD Joe Carey. 

“This is the fifth year of employment growth for Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and it is clear that the local LEO operation is a hugely important part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Clare”, Deputy Carey said.

“Clare LEO does Trojan work and these 2018 jobs figures highlight the significant contribution they make to the local economy. Not only are they helping small businesses to plan, start and grow, but they are also working closely with their 239 client companies here in Clare to minimise their Brexit exposure.

“The LEOs will continue to play a key role in 2019 and beyond, ensuring that every small business has access to the support it needs. An additional €5 million was allocated in Budget 2019 to further support their invaluable work on the ground.”

“Since its inception, the Local Enterprise Office network has been a key element of this Government’s commitment to enterprise development, across all regions in the country. It has been hugely successful. LEO-supported companies now account for over 36,000 jobs throughout the country, across such sectors as food, textiles, manufacturing and computing.  

“It is particularly pleasing to see them grow in ambition and scale. Operated in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities, they provide expert training, mentoring and financial assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses who may want to start, develop or grow their company.   

“This includes Brexit Mentoring, Technical Assistance for Micro Exporting grants for small businesses looking to diversify into new markets, the Brexit SME Scorecard, the Trading Online Voucher Scheme for those selling online internationally and LEAN for Micro enabling small companies to trade more effectively and competitively,” Deputy Carey added.

ABOVE: Deputy Joe Carey with Industry and Employment Minister Richard Bruton