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SFA seeks more support for the self-employed

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Mark Kellett, CEO of Magnet, (Right) and Patrick Kennedy of Amarach Research discussing the Magnet Regional Business Barometer, a study of 600 SMEs which showed that small firms in the Mid West and Dublin are most confident for the year ahead. Picture: Finbarr O'Rourke

The Small Firms Association has launched a campaign to have the Government end discrimination against self-employed and Proprietary Directors in the tax and social welfare systems in 2015.

The campaign has been launched by the organisation’s chairman, AJ Noonan, who says there is a real need to support people in embarking on their entrepreneurial journey, “as without the risk-taker / the owner-manager, no jobs can be created”.

“Therefore it is important that they are at least treated equally if not indeed more preferentially than employees,” said Mr Noonan.

Specifically, the SFA is advocating the introduction of its three point plan by Government to introduce a voluntary PRSI rate for the self-employed, to equalise how self-employed/ proprietary directors and employees are treated and to introduce a CGT rate for entrepreneurs selling their business.

“The PRSI rate should enable them to claim unemployment benefit should their business fail and would alleviate some of the risk associated with starting up a business. The scheme should run on an opt-in basis for already established businesses.

“Specifically the additional 3% USC on earnings above €100,000 for self-employed must be abolished. This was promised by the end of 2014, but the Government failed to deliver on this commitment in Budget 2015. In addition, the PAYE tax credit should be available to all who pay tax on a PAYE basis. Currently a self-employed person on €15,000 is six times worse off than the equivalent employee, because of this discrimination.

“For example, in the UK, you only pay 10% CGT if you sell or close all or part of a business, on condition you’ve held the share for at least a year and you are a director, partner or employee in the business. The existence of such a scheme in our closest competitor economy means that business HQs here will be moved to the UK prior to sale with the consequent loss of jobs here. Introducing a comparable rate here would give a tremendous boost to business sale and acquisitions activity.

“By focusing on the entrepreneurial sector, we can deliver real national and balanced regional growth. However this will only be possible if the Government implements our three-point plan,” he said.

Connacht Tribune

Galway medtech firm awarded €3.6m to develop revolutionary stroke treatment

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Ceroflo co-founder Dr. Paul Bhogal and CEO Chloe Brown.

A Galway medical device company is working with a consortium to help develop disruptive technology in the treatment of stroke – after it was awarded awarded €3.6m in funding.

Ceroflo is partnered on the project with manufacturing firm Advant Medical and the Medical and Engineering Technologies (MET) Centre at Atlantic Technological University (ATU).

Cereflo secured the funding on foot of its development of a revolutionary new type of stent technology that promises to be vastly more effective than existing treatments to treat Intracranial Atherosclerotic Disease (ICAD), a leading cause of stroke.

Up to 50% of strokes are caused by a build-up of plaque in an artery in the brain known as Intra-Cranial Atherosclerotic Disease (ICAD).

Pharmaceutical therapies aimed at reducing the stroke rate are currently deemed the most effective form of treatment for the condition but more than 20% of patients with significant ICAD still suffer recurring stroke within twelve months.

Technological solutions have so far proved sub-optimal, leaving this large population of patients with the ongoing risk of devastating strokes.

The Ceroflo SubMax Stent represents a game-changer in the treatment of ICAD as its shape and structure has been developed to suit the unique challenges of this disease.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway Science and Technology Festival’s breaks new record

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John (6) and Millie Caffrey (8) from Doughiska at the Medtronic operation stand at the Galway Science and Technology Festival’s annual exhibition.

More than 22,000 people attended last Sunday’s Galway Science and Technology Festival exhibition in the University of Galway – breaking all previous records.

Celebrating 25 years of STEM Education, the exhibition was the opening event for the two week annual Galway Science and Technology Festival, which is the largest event of its kind in Europe. It showcases Galway as the MedTech capital of Europe and a growing IT Hub, bringing science and technology to over 35,000 students in schools across Galway city and county. This year there will be over 200 STEM demonstrations, shows and workshops in 140 primary schools and 40 post-primary schools.

The exhibition was a hive of activity with 25 shows and hands-on workshops and over 80 demonstrations and interactive exhibitions created by sponsor companies and agencies, universities and schools. Families enjoyed 3D astronomy shows and learned how to extract DNA from a banana , saw parasites in VR, drove Valeos self-driving car using a mobile phone, visited the Teddy Bear hospital and the ever popular Doctor Bug introduced tarantulas, snakes and lizards to very excited children and much, much more. Medtronic’s Junior Hospital team engaged with families at their fantastic interactive series of stands in the Human Biology Building. Sue McGrath entertained with the Devastatingly Dramatic Climate Show and new to the Festival is Braintastic with their Non-Sense show exploring our senses.

The 2022 Galway Science & Technology Person of the Year Award was presented to Dr Enda O’Connell, Senior Technical Officer at University of Galway and Founding Director of ReelLIFE Science, a science video competition for schools and youth organisations in Ireland and N. Ireland, celebrating its tenth year, the competition encourages young people to engage with STEM, while developing their creativity and communication skills.

To mark the 25th year of the Festival, a special presentation was made to the Treacy Family in commemoration of the late Noel Treacy, Founding Patron of the Galway Science & Technology Festival.  Mr Treacy continued to be a strong advocate for the Festival over the 25 years and his presence was greatly missed this year.

Anne Murray, Festival Manager said: “We were delighted to be back on campus at the University of Galway to celebrate and learn about the world around us.  The attendance on the day reflected the value that families and the public place on this unique event and we were so glad to be able to honour the memory of the late Noel Treacy who always said it started with an idea”.

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Connacht Tribune

Development Commission appoints Interim CEO

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Allan Mulrooney...Interim Chief Executive.

The Western Development Commission has announced the appointment of Allan Mulrooney as its Interim Chief Executive. This follows the departure of Tomás Ó Síocháin from the organisation after four years at the helm.

The agency said following the Board’s decision to appoint Allan as acting Interim CEO, that it will continue to work in all key areas of activity.

Sligo native Allan Mulrooney currently holds the role of Head of Communications and Atlantic Economic Corridor Development as a member of the management team having joined in 2019. Allan has led on new initiatives including ConnectedHubs.ie, WesternJobs.ie, a full rebrand for the organisation and it’s More To Life digital campaign. Before his role in the WDC Allan worked with IDA Ireland and before this he worked with eir in Dublin.

He will commence his role in December when Tomás Ó Síocháin takes up his new position as CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta. A competitive process to appoint a permanent CEO is expected to get underway in early 2023.

Following the announcement, Allan Mulrooney described it as an honour to accept the position on an interim basis.

“Our mission will not change, and I look forward to working with my colleagues across the wider WDC team and the Department of Rural and Community Development. It is vital that we continue to stimulate businesses, support innovation, build new partnerships and foster a vibrant ecosystem across the region at this critical time,” he said.

Tomás Ó Síocháin, who made the announcement, referenced the drive and experience that Allan will bring to the role.

“Allan brings a wealth of experience to this role, particularly in the ongoing and planned work of the WDC and already has an excellent working relationships with key regional and national stakeholders in the regional development sector,” he said.

 

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