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Connacht Tribune

Study shows growth in jobs across county

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The dynamism of smaller towns across the county has resulted in significant increases in the number of people working locally – according to a new study from the Western Development Commission.

The local studies examine the various labour catchments across the county, that area from which a town draws most of its workforce.

In Tuam labour catchment alone, the number of people working in the town has almost doubled – from 1,000 in 2006 to almost 2,000 a decade later.

Other labour catchments across the county are showing similar patterns of growth – an increase of 32.8% was recorded in Loughrea and 13.8% in Clifden.

Only the Gort labour catchment saw a decline in resident workers – down 15.6% – with a significant proportion of the town’s total workforce commuting to places of employment in Galway City.

The WDC studied Census data from 2016, comparing some statistics with 2006.

The study found that manufacturing continues to play a significant role in local employment in Galway’s smaller labour catchments.

It found that while wholesale, retail and commerce is the main sector in Clifden labour catchment with 42% of the catchment area’s workers employed in this area, manufacturing accounts for close to one fifth of the Gort labour catchment resident workforce.

It was also a vital employment sector in the Loughrea (25.4%) and Tuam labour catchments (26.1% of jobs)

The studies also found that the number of people who live in Tuam LC but who now work in Galway city, or suburbs, increased from 833 in 2006 to 1,200 in 2016.

Manufacturing accounts for double the state average of workers in Tuam – Valeo Vision accounts for a large element of this and some of those employed by the company work in Research and Development.

While Gort LC recorded a decrease in resident workers between 2006 and 2016 this is, in part, due to the size of the catchment which decreased in 2016.

A large number of workers across the county continue to make long commutes for work.

One hundred people commute from Clifden labour catchment or LC to Galway City and suburbs – while ten of the town’s residents list Dublin city as their place of employment.

And in Loughrea LC, workers who live in the area work in locations such as Galway City, Ballinasloe, Athlone, Gort, Portumna, Dublin City, Athenry and Oranmore.

There was good news for rural Galway too with analysis showing a vibrancy in rural employment in the county.

Western Development Commission policy analyst Deirdre Frost said the figures showed that smaller town labour catchments across Galway were not just holding their own but increasing new and varied career options for those who want to live and work locally.

Rural employment was still very important in County Galway, she said.

“Some of these workers are likely to avail of e-working and facilities at enterprise hubs which can reduce travel time,” she added.

“The growth of employment in Tuam is very noticeable and the figures indicate a spread of employment opportunities across the county, thanks in part to better transport links such as the M6 motorway and people making lifestyle choices for their families,” she concluded.

Connacht Tribune

SMEs set their sights on Euro expansion

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Kevin Moran of IMS Marketing accepting the ‘Excellence in Practice Silver Award’ from the European Foundation for Management Development, with Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon and Nan Gou, Programme Director, ESMT Berlin.

Irish entrepreneurs have the skills, products and services to break down barriers across Europe, according to one Galway-based marketing agency that is helping SMEs enter new markets.

Kevin Moran, Managing Director of IMS Marketing in Galway, said that this creativity and enthusiasm allows Irish entrepreneurs to punch above their weight in new markets.

He was speaking after his IMS Marketing was honoured for its ‘Enter-the-Eurozone’ Programme which has helped 19 SMEs break into Europe.

And he urged all SMEs to continue to set their ambitions on export markets as we emerge from the Covid-19 restrictions and revisit the challenges of Brexit.

Mr Moran said that IMS Marketing, along with its partners, Enterprise Ireland and ESMT Berlin, was delighted to receive the Excellence in Practice Silver Award’ from the European Foundation for Management Development.

“The vision for the ‘Enter the Eurozone’ Programme was to enable progressive Irish SMEs  to enter a new Eurozone market in a strategically led way,” he said.

“Export markets will be more important than ever for Irish companies and jobs as they now face the twin threat of Brexit and a post Covid19 economic recession.”

Accepting the Award’ from the EFMD, Mr Moran said that his company witnessed the strength of the Irish SME sector during the delivery of the award-winning ‘Enter the Eurozone’ programme.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Businesses miss out on restart grant

Stephen Corrigan

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Mr. Kenneth Deery. Photo: Andrew Downes, Xposure
CEO of Galway Chamber Kenny Deery

Just one-third of Galway business eligible for the Government’s Restart Grant have actually applied for the scheme which aims to bolster small enterprise as Covid-19 restrictions ease.

It was revealed this week that businesses in Galway City and County have received almost €4.5 million in grant aid under the scheme which offers grants of between €2,000 and €10,000 to commercial rates-liable enterprises.

To qualify for the €250 million scheme, businesses must have an annual turnover of less than €5 million; have 50 or fewer employee; and have a projected loss of revenue of 25% or more.

CEO of Galway Chamber Kenny Deery said there were many Galway businesses that had yet to apply for the grants, despite the fact that they were entitled to do so.

Only around 1,100 of the about 3,000 businesses in the city and county that may be due a pay-out have applied, and confusion over eligibility was contributing to that issue, he explained.

“Some businesses are of the view that they’re not eligible, but they need to realise that even if they only paid €500 or €1,000 in rates in 2019, they could still be eligible for €2,000,” he said.

Those who were in rates arrears were also entitled to the grant, said Mr Deery, adding that as long as a business had a rates liability in 2019, they could apply for the grant.

“The payment have just started being paid out to those who applied about two months ago, so it has been slow in terms of progressing those applications.

“What I would be saying to small businesses is that they would need to sell a lot of cups of coffee or a lot of sandwiches to make €2,000 or €5,000 in profit,” said Mr Deery.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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 embraces Mass changes

Stephen Corrigan

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Parish Priest Fr Hugh Clifford wearing a mask during the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass in St Joseph’s Church, Kinvara, on Saturday evening. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Parishioners in Kinvara made a long-awaited return to weekend services on Saturday at St Joseph’s Church, and while it was far from business as usual, mass-goers expressed delight at their return to the church.

Parish Priest Fr Hugh Clifford said while there were necessary changes to what people would be accustomed to, the congregation was understanding of why that was necessary and thankful that the implementation of these measures meant they could return to services after a four-month absence.

As part of Phase 3 of the easing of restrictions, services of up to 50 people were allowed, and to respect physical distancing, that meant two seats in every three were blocked off, said Fr Hugh.

“Households can sit together, but at the moment, we have the limit of 50 people, but we hope that will change in the next phase. We have to advise people who are more vulnerable that they should consider staying at home for the time being,” he explained.

The obligation to attend Mass has been lifted since the outbreak of the Covid-19 crisis, continued Fr Hugh, meaning that people need not worry if they are unable to attend.

For the Eucharist, the Priest and Eucharistic Ministers wear face coverings and use hand sanitiser to ensure there is no cross-contamination, with Communion administered to people in their seats, said Fr Hugh.

See full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also add the paper to your online grocery delivery; you can purchase a digital edition here, or you can have it delivered at no extra charge by An Post; full details are on this website.

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