Changes to the operation of County Enterprise Boards (CEBs) and their transfer to the remit of local authorities are underway.
Last week Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD together with Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD and Minister of State for Small Business John Perry TD showcased a Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Fingal County Council, and announced details of the improved new support service for micro and small enterprises that will be provided for.
The change to local county enterprise boards, however, is not expected to take place for a number of months and preparations are continuing for the transfer of functions between CEBs and the new LEO’s. The Leader understands the changes will be implemented within a few months and that staff will subsequently move into county council buildings, thereby creating the new LEO.
Staff will be retained under the enterprise banner and workers will not be redeployed to other departments. The Leader also understands that there are currently a number of matters in relation to the changeover being ironed out at government level.
Speaking to the Leader, CEO Longford Enterprise Board, Michael Nevin said, “In the future, support for the small firms sector in Co Longford will be the responsibility of the local authority”.
He went on to say that the local County Enterprise Board would be dissolved and a new council section - called the Local Enterprise office, would subsequently be established. “This will be done within the council headquarters to administer support and guidance to small business owners,” added Mr Nevin. “The functions of the LEO office will be more or less the same as those under the Enterprise Board, but it is envisaged that entrepreneurs will receive a more integrated level of support with easier access to other council departments and functions.”
In conclusion, Mr Nevin confirmed that such a transfer was expected over the summer months and it is was also anticipated, at this stage, that current Enterprise Board staff would be “transferred directly” into the new LEO office.