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Galway business woman lashes out at Enterprise Board for lack of support

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An impression that women-led business can avail of lucrative financial incentives has been ‘blown out of the water’ by the founder of two Galway enterprises that employ more than 50 people between them.

And she slammed the Galway City and County Enterprise Board for not providing her with meaningful financial assistance despite establishing two businesses in the Tuam area over the past year and a half.

The County Enterprise Board has told her that because she provides a professional service, her businesses do not fall within their remit to provide financial support.

Imelda O’Connor O’Dea has been in business for the past 25 years and apart from receiving €650 towards the establishment of a website, anything she has been involved in has been self-funded.

“There was an article in one of the Sunday newspapers recently which stated that women-led businesses have easier access to funding from state institutions but I am one of those who is certainly the exception”, she said.

Imelda has established a homecare service in Tuam which is being used quite regularly by the HSE West and has 50 homecare assistants on her books as well as providing employment for four full time staff.

She approached the Galway City and County Enterprise Board for funding to help her establish her business and despite meeting with officials, she was told that a service industry would not receive any financial support.

“I have taken people off the live register and now I have just developed a nutritional supplement for the elderly. This product is about to be branded and marketed and I have yet again been verbally refused funding.

“I have been refused for healthcare. I have been refused for consultancy (another company she established) and now I have been verbally refused for manufacturing. Being a woman in business seems to be more of a disadvantage than an advantage”, Imelda added.

She said that she was the co-founder of two companies in the last 18 months and had approached all agencies for funding. 

“I received €650 as part funding for a website from the local enterprise board for one of the business but was actually refused the same grant for the second business. This is the only funding I have received,” she said

Imelda established A Ghrá Homecare Services in Tuam and this currently employs four full time staff. It is completely self-funded.

“We have 50 homecare assistants registered with us working on a part time basis with the company. When I went to the local enterprise board for funding for my second company which is a health and safety consultancy business, I was again refused funding.

“While the local enterprise board has offered mentoring, it comes at a cost of €50 an hour.  Given my circumstances I cannot afford the cost of the mentoring or the time necessary to avail of it, as it is taking me all my time and funds and energy to make sure all staff and expenses are paid,” Imelda added.

Connacht Tribune

Galway’s housing stock on the rise

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A total of 1,147 residential buildings were under construction in Galway as of June – according to the latest GeoView Residential Buildings Report.

Over half of the residential buildings under construction in Ireland in June 2021 were located in the Leinster region (58.4%), revealed the report which is published by GeoDirectory and EY Economic Advisory.

The Greater Dublin Area of Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow accounted for 35.6% of the total number of buildings under construction in the country. In contrast, the lowest levels of construction activity were recorded in Ulster (6.5%) and Connacht (10.6%).

In all, 1,182 new residential addresses in Galway were added to GeoDirectory’s nationwide database in the twelve months to June 2021.

At 30.8%, the highest proportion of the new residential address points were again located in Dublin, followed by Cork (10.8%), Kildare (9.7%) and Meath (5.7%).

In percentage terms, Leitrim (219.6%), Carlow (146.5%) and Roscommon (144%) registered the highest year-on-year growth in new address points, albeit from a previously low base.

The report also found that 9.5% of all residential stock in the state are apartments. In total, there were 194,898 apartment address points across the country in June 2021.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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 towns included in home support pilot

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Confirmation...Minister Anne Rabbitte.

Tuam, Athenry and Loughrea will form one of a select number of areas for a nationwide pilot scheme to see how to improve home support services for families in need of carers.

Minister for Disabilities and Galway East Deputy Anne Rabbitte confirmed that the Galway towns were among nine across the country to form part of a national Home Support Pilot Programme, which will commence next month.

The pilot scheme will deliver an additional 230,000 hours of Home Support services over a six-month period, with the evaluation of the outputs to continue over a twelve-month period from its commencement.

Minister Rabbitte described this as a major boost for Tuam, Athenry and Loughrea.

“This will deliver in-home supports across the three towns, which are in the heart of East Galway and I know from working with families across the constituency that this will be a major boost,” she said.

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 passengers are all smiles at Shannon!

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Shannon Airport
Shannon Airport

The smiles on the faces at Shannon Airport very much told its own story this week – with passengers taking to skies as the easing of restrictions and the first day of the European Digital COVID Certificates took effect.

And it wasn’t just the joy of travel starting to resume that lifted spirits at the airport but also the announcement by Ryanair of a new once-weekly service to Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) to commence on August 7 – the third new service announcement for Shannon Airport over recent weeks.

There was a real sense of excitement as passengers of all ages became very much at ease with the heightened public safety measures in a ‘back-to-the-future’ day for the West of Ireland gateway airport.

There were reunions as inbound flights arrived but also a palpable degree of anticipation as others got set to depart on the earliest flight out of the airport today, the 7:10am flight to Gatwick.

Among those boarding was Clarenbridge native Claire Tomlin and her husband Jake, together with their three children, including their twins who turn a year old next week.

“It’s been amazing to get back. The kids saw their grandparents for the first time and their cousins and aunties and uncles, so it was fantastic,” said Claire.

“Shannon is just so convenient for us because it’s only about 40 minutes’ drive. So, it just makes everything a lot easier in terms of getting to and from places with little ones. So, yeah, Shannon is a great resource for us. Really, really good. We hope to be able to go back more and more.”

It was smiles all around for Shannon Airport staff as they got back to doing what they do best. “Well, today is a great day because you can see the atmosphere around the place, people are at ease here and they’re glad to be back, they’re glad to get up in the sky again,” said Shannon Duty Free Sales Associate Helen Quinlivan.

“It’s great to see the excitement. People are really looking forward to going back and seeing their loved ones and they’re very at ease.”

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