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Break on rates would aid new firm start-ups

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Lough Rea Hotel & Spa team (from left) Shona Moran, Karen Brady, Catherine Kelly, Ruth O’Brien, Deimante Tilindyte, Sales and Marketing Manager Rose Finn and Melinda Earls celebrate their selection as Best Luxury Hotel and Spa, Galway from the global publication the Luxury Travel Guide.

Galway County Council have been urged to consider a ‘rates holiday’ for those wishing to rent or purchase some of the 50 vacant business premises in Tuam.

The number of empty business premises in and around the town centre in Tuam has been remarked upon by many visitors to Tuam in recent months. It is highlighted by the fact that there are large blue signs outside two of the most prominent business premises in The Square.

It has been suggested that some of these premises could have potential use if Galway County Council came up with an initiative that did not involve the imposition of commercial rates for a lengthy period of time.

Cllr Donagh Killilea said that energetic new business people were not encouraged to occupy some of these premises because of the overheads involved. These include expensive commercial rates.

Last year there was a shocking revelation in Tuam that almost 50 business premises in the town have either shut down or are empty. The situation has gotten worse in the meantime.

Tuam is the biggest town in the county and yet there are dozens of boarded up shops and pubs in the town centre which is a major concern for the existing town centre businesses. The reduction in footfall is having a financial impact for them.

There is no chamber of commerce anymore and some of the most successful entertainment events have been called off for the coming year. These include the Sugar Beat festival and the Tuam Trad Festival.

A survey conducted by The Connacht Tribune last year revealed that there were almost 50 empty retail premises in and around the town centre in Tuam.

At the time, the now-defunct Tuam Chamber of Commerce said that it was high time for every organisation in the town to come together to address this situation and put life back into the town centre.

Cllr Killilea has put a proposal to Galway County Council asking that there no rates would apply for a year in relation to business premises that are closed for twelve months or more.

Connacht Tribune

Galway cleans up on electrical waste

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Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland.

An impressive 2,900 tonnes of electrical waste were collected in Galway in 2021 by the country’s largest recycling scheme – an annual increase of 0.7% for the county in a year which saw a national peak in electrical recycling.

On average, 11.24kg of e-waste was recycled per person in the county last year according to WEEE Ireland – greater than the county’s 2020 collection rate of 11.17kg and the 2021 national average of 10.9kg per person.

“People in Galway have contributed greatly to e-waste recycling every year, and we want to encourage that trend,” said WEEE Ireland CEO Leo Donovan.

“One of the key habits consumers are encouraged to embrace is to stop hoarding end-of-life electronic goods – estimated at 4kg to 5kg of e-waste per person.

“So many of these appliances and devices can be repaired, re-used or re-gifted, but if they cannot, make sure you recycle them for free.

“Our consumption is only going in one direction. In 2021, an average of twelve household electrical products were sold for every person in Ireland.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Mobility grants can’t keep pace

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Denis Naughten...’almost impossible’ to keep up.

The rates for grants to make mobility adaptations that allow people to live independently in their own homes are not keeping pace with the rising cost of construction.

Roscommon Galway TD, Denis Naughten said it was ‘almost impossible’ for older people or people with disabilities to get contractors to quote prices for work.

That’s because of the bureaucracy involved in housing aid for older people scheme, the mobility grant aid scheme, and the housing adaptation grant for people with disability.

“The low rate of the grant also means many contractors are not interested in this work anymore,” the Independent TD said.

“The reality is that the grants rates have not increased in recent years. These rates today do not reflect current building costs. The income thresholds also need to be modernised and updated,” he added.

Deputy Naughten highlighted the plight of a constituent in East Galway to drive home his point.

This person, an amputee who resides in a two-storey house and whose sole income is social welfare, had applied for a housing adaptation grant.

Galway County Council awarded the maximum rate for the housing adaptation grant, which was €30,000.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway is Chamber of the Year

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Top of the pile...Galway Chamber President Aengus Burns (left) and CEO and Kenny Deery, with Chambers Ireland President Mags Brennan after their double win.

Galway Chamber of Commerce has been named as Chamber of the Year at the 2022 Chamber Awards. The awards recognise the outstanding work of chambers of commerce throughout the country in supporting local, regional and national business.

And Galway Chamber was recognised for its high level of activity throughout the year despite challenging operational conditions. Galway Chamber had earlier won the category for Supporting Enterprise and Social Enterprise

President of Chambers Ireland, Mags Brennan said that being named Chamber of the Year was testament to the scale of work being undertaken by Galway Chamber.

“It reflects the huge amount of talent and dedication within the Chamber and underlines how impressively they have managed and adapted their activity to meet the needs of their members,” she said.

“What truly impressed our judges was how much Galway Chamber engaged with its community. This is a group of strong communicators, relationship builders and people who care deeply about their city and county,” she added.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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