Members of Longford County Council and Longford Chamber of Commerce launching the Longford Business Expo 2018.
The recently renamed Riverside Retail Centre will throw open its doors this Friday as it hosts a two day Longford Business Expo, which is being organised by Longford Chamber of Commerce.
President of the Chamber, Niamh Donlon, said that there has been tremendous interest in the event and over 100 local firms will exhibit over the two days.
The Chamber has been working closely with the team at the Longford Enterprise Office and stressed that the event would not be happening were it not for the support of the LEO team, namely Michael Nevin, Catherine Kane, Anna Lane and Norma Foley as well as Barbara Heslin, Director of Services, and Paddy Mahon, Chief Executive of Longford County Council.
The event is also backed by LCRL and the Leader project and Ms Donlon extended a special word of thanks to Margaret Walsh in LCRL and Martina Glennon of Optimum Events who is coordinating the event.
The event will open to the public at 1pm this Friday but there's a full programme of activities for the exhibitors from early Friday morning.
RTE journalist, Sinead Hussey, will be MC and will introduce a team of speakers that will include Mark Christal from Enterprise Ireland; Bobby Kerr, broadcaster and former chairman of Insomnia Coffee and Tom Parlon, Director General at the Construction Industry Federation.
The event then opens to the public from 1pm and there is an opportunity to see the huge range of businesses and employers now operating in diverse sectors right across the county.
For Saturday the emphasis will be on retail, according to Ms Donlon: "Retail is hugely challenged at the moment but remains the bedrock of our commercial centres and it is vital that we strive to point a way forward for existing and new businesses and we hope that Saturday's fashion forum will provide some insight and advice for retailers or start-ups."
The Fashion Forum kicks off at noon on Saturday when leading retail and fashion expert, Eddie Shanahan leads a panel discussion on devising a modern business model. Panel members will include leading Irish designer, Heidi Higgins; local fashion success stories Wendy Louise Knight and Siobhan Quinn (Ballyboy Design) and Louise Brennan (Fabiani).
From 2.30pm then on Saturday afternoon the riverside setting will come alive to the sound of a jazz trio and exhibitors will get a chance to reflect on what is shaping up to be a real showcase event for Co Longford.