11th November 2021
Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, visited the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Cork North and West today as part of a series of visits by the Minister, who is keen to engage with the LEO teams and their client companies throughout the country.
Minister English began his visit at Spa House, Mallow, headquarters of to the Local Enterprise Office, where he was introduced to Local Authority representatives and the LEO Team. The Minister was briefed on the work undertaken by the LEO staff in conjunction with their Local Authority colleagues and the future plans for local enterprise development of the Office.
Minister English said:
“I think we are all indebted to the tremendous work that our LEO Offices have done since the pandemic began. They were on the ground to provide that all important support when our businesses needed it most with training, mentoring and to assist with upskilling and with other crucial advice and guidance. Now that we are in recovery that same support from the Local Enterprise Office will be vital in helping small businesses to plot their future and return to growth in North Cork.”
The Minister then travelled to Buttevant where he met with David Moore and Enrika Baleviciute, owners and founders of Viska Systems. The company are advanced automation specialists in the areas of machine vision, robotics, and LabVIEW development. They design and build high-accuracy manufacturing and measurement automation systems for the medical device, automotive, electronics, semi-conductor and research industries.
Viska are also members of the LINC Engineering Network, an engineering cluster of approximately 50 micro and SME businesses from North Cork and Limerick.
Minister English’s next engagement was at Health & Safety (H & S) Publishers in Mallow where he met with Marek and Rose Szepietowski at their business. The company are producers and publishers of a wide variety of health and safety training books and manuals. They have worked closely with the LEO in Cork North/West in growing their business and have availed of export assistance to help them expand into the UK marketplace.
The Minister finished his visit by calling to the long-established Philips Bookshop on Main Street, Mallow, where he met owner, June Rahilly. The Bookstore was opened in 1989 by June’s parents and she joined the business in 2008. In 2019, Phillip’s Bookshop expanded and moved to their current larger premises. With the assistance of a Trading Online Voucher, they have developed a significant online presence through their website philipsbookshop.com. The LEO Team also assisted the company through the provision of mentoring, training and a development programme.
On the conclusion of his engagements Minister English said:
“It is really encouraging to see that the local businesses I have visited are prospering. The support of the LEOs has been instrumental in helping them to succeed. By availing of the LEO supports, programmes and funding the companies have been able to not only confront a changed and challenging business landscape but thrive on it. Close interaction with the LEOs can ensure businesses can develop that flexibility and ability to adapt and pivot if necessary. The hugely positive impact that the Local Enterprise Offices can have for businesses in their regions is very evident here in Cork North and West.”
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