The new network of Local Enterprise Offices was launched by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a national launch in Mullingar last week.
The Longford Local Enterprise Office (LEO) will be located in the County Council Headquarters and will deliver a full range of supports to local businesses similar to those that were provided previously by the County Enterprise Board.
The plan is to deliver a more streamlined and integrated set of enterprise supports to clients giving entrepreneurs ready access to the full range of local authority services.
According to Longford County Manager Tim Caffrey, this new initiative is a welcome development and Longford will embrace the challenge presented in providing new and enhanced support for small businesses at local level.
Mr Caffrey said the LEOs will be the front line in delivering business growth and jobs, providing direct support and pulling together all the players – agencies, local authorities and the private sector – to support everyone with a good business idea and strengthen the enterprise sector in county Longford.
The next step will be to develop local enterprise plans putting micro and small business at the heart of job creation locally. Mr Caffrey added, “A key aim is to overcome the typical barriers to success that small businesses face such as management skills, access to finance or lack of marketing or planning skills.”
New Protocols have been developed with key agencies, such as Revenue, Department of Social Protection, Department of Education and Training Boards, Microfinance Ireland etc. to ensure clients have access to all Government supports.
As well as advice and direct supports LEOs will promote a pro-enterprise culture locally, by organising enterprise events, supporting local business networks and growing its involvement in schools to help foster a culture of enterprise.
Longford Local Enterprise Office is now open and is located on the first floor in the County Buildings, Great Water Street, Longford.