One of Co Longford’s most successful entrepreneurs is to address business owners and managers later this month as the county gears up for arguably its biggest commercial showcase in years.
Chief executive of US based firm XcitekSolutionsPlus (XSP) Brendan Farrell, is one of a string of high-flying business leaders signed up by organisers of this month’s ‘Longford Expo’.
First revealed by the Leader two weeks ago, the event has proved extremely popular with the heads of small and medium enterprises both locally and outside the wider midlands region.
Longford Chamber of Commerce President Seamus Butler said the group, together with officials from Longford County Enterprise Board and Longford Business Forum couldn’t be more satisified with how plans have steadily come together.
“It looks as if we have our 100 stalls in place,” he excitedly put it. “There has been great interest in the whole thing. I don’t honestly think anything of this sort of scale has ever been done before in Longford. Obviously, first time round with something like this there will be a certain learning curve attached, but the response has just been amazing.”
Other leading personalities from the world of business believed to have been lined up are former Ernst and Young ‘Enterpreneur of the Year’ and Ballinalee native, Ann Heraty.
The CPL Resources co-founder is, like Mr Farrell, expected to provide useful insights into the world of business and how small firms can combat the recession.
Those talks are scheduled to take place in front of invited businesses to kick-start the two day event (May 25-26).
And even before a word has been uttered to those attending, Mr Butler admitted he already has his sights set on other ways in which to showcase Longford from a commercial perspective.
“I’m hoping that following this, we can form a group to market Longford as a location for inward investment. This is because we (business representatives) feel that State agencies just haven’t done enough in this regard.”
One of his intended targets involves accompanying other local entrepreneurs on a marketing expedition to the US.
“If we are waiting for the tablets to be handed down from on high we will be waiting a long time,” said a determined Mr Butler.
“There is no single solution to our woes, we know that. But if we don’t do something ourselves no one will.”
He said the added bonus of having the two day exhibition inside the still vacant Longford Town Shopping Centre represented another key opportunity.
“Fifty per cent of this is about encouraging business; the other 50 per cent is about opening up the building and if we can get two or three people to come up with ideas in terms of how it might be used in the future then the whole occasion will be a tremendous success,” he added.