Mark Maher and Ciaran Cooke of Odyssey Studios celebrate after winning the overall entrepreneur of the year title at the 2020 Local Enterprise Office Limerick awards
DESPITE the slowdown brought about by Covid-19, almost 200 jobs were created with help from Limerick’s Local Enterprise Office (Leo) last year.
The annual results of all the enterprise offices from around the country reveal that Leo in Limerick supported firms which created a total of 179 new jobs.
It’s the eighth year of year-on-year growth in jobs in Limerick with Leo Limerick supporting a total of 298 small businesses employing 1,825 people, the office added in a statement.
Nationally, enterprise offices are supporting 35,729 jobs across 7,158 companies across the State.
In 2021 there were 7,440 new jobs created by Leo clients companies with a net jobs creation figure of 2,999. This was up 9% nationally on 2020.
Mike Cantwell, the head of enterprise in Limerick said: “These results are a testament to the resilience of Limerick's small business community. When faced with adversity, they have adapted, pivoted, upskilled and did whatever it took to sustain their businesses. At the Local Enterprise Office we too had to change how we deliver our services and our staff have gone above and beyond in their support of small businesses during the Covid pandemic and we now face 2022 with renewed optimism.”
He added: “We are seeing new opportunities for Irish businesses across a range of sectors and we can assure all our Leo clients that we will continue to work with both Limerick City and County Council, Enterprise Ireland and others, to ensure our small businesses get the best possible supports and nurture the green shoots emerging across the country.”
The council’s economic director Vincent Murray added: “The job creation figures announced are a huge endorsement of the entrepreneurial and innovation capacity that exists in the Limerick region. The excellent collaboration that exists between the enterprise office and new entrepreneur’s starting or growing their businesses has seen a record number of new enterprises started during the numerous lockdowns. The Local Enterprise Office is able to assist new start-ups with access to grant finance to start a business, and more importantly access to knowledge and information through its mentoring and training programs.”
An Tanaiste and Enterprise Minister Leo Varadkar added: “Over 35,000 people employed in small businesses around the country have been helped in some way by our Local Enterprise Offices. They are at the heart of communities in every county, always on hand to provide advice, training or financial backing and have proved invaluable throughout the pandemic, during which I know a huge amount of people relied on their local office.”
Leo in Limerick is located at the Engine building in Cecil Street, and its staff can be contacted at 061-557499.
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