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VAT rate ‘holds the key’ to survival of Galway restaurants

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Many of Galway’s restaurants will not survive unless the current VAT rate is retained in next month’s budget.

That’s the prediction from the Restaurants Association of Ireland who have launched a ten-point plan for the survival of the industry, which is responsible for one in four tourism jobs and contributes €2 billion to the Irish economy each year.

Galway man Adrian Cummins, who is chief executive of the association, is leading the charge for the VAT rate not to be returned to 13.5%.

“When the economy went into decline, restaurants endured falling numbers of diners, rising prices and great financial uncertainty, with many having to close their businesses. Money generated by this reduced VAT rate, however, has kick-started a reversal of fortunes,” he stated.

“Since the VAT cut, employment in the restaurant  and tourism sector increased by approximately 9000 jobs  and this growth will continue, with an additional 5,000 jobs to be created over the next 12 months if VAT at 9% remains in effect” said Mr Cummins.

The association is calling for the current rate of excise duty to be decreased to encourage spend in restaurants.

“The savage increase in excise duty in Budget 2013 has crippled many restaurants. Tourists and Irish consumers compare Irish prices with those in other tourist destinations like Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and France, where there is no duty on wine,” Mr Cummins said.

Irish restaurateurs pay the highest catering wage rate in Europe and have to endure the highest excise duty on wines in Europe. Other costs were equally crippling – Irish food costs are 18% above the European average, the waste licence fee has increased from €1,200 to €4,000, with the average restaurant paying €6,254 in waste charges  and €15,813 per year on commercial rates.

The association are calling for the creation of a business inspection and licensing authority that absorbs the existing business inspection activities of the Health and Safety Authority, and the National Consumer Agency.

“Restaurants deal with, on average, twenty-five different agencies and authorities in the day-to-day running of their business. Ireland is the most expensive country in Europe to run a restaurant,” said Mr Cummins.

“Restaurateurs are entrepreneurs; the government needs to be reminded of that. When a restaurant opens or expands, they will create several jobs and generate business for the area and their suppliers. In total the industry employs 64,000 people.”

Connacht Tribune

Supermac voted All-Ireland PR champ for 2020

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Pat McDonagh: marketing award.

Pat McDonagh, head of the Supermac’s chain of family restaurants, has been named the All Ireland Marketing Champion of 2020.

The award was created by the Marketing Institute of Ireland to highlight the achievements of individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to business, who have demonstrated leadership, vision and skill and in particular whose customer and market focus have been central to their success.

With more than 100 restaurants throughout the country, Supermac’s employs over 4,000 people nationally and has helped to establish up to 60 self-employed franchisees in their own successful businesses.

The current climate means that the consumer is looking for more online and contactless ways of engaging with service providers. Supermac’s has developed its own in-house online platform to meet those needs and has order online messaging at the core of all its key marketing campaigns. Digital marketing has been a key area of focus over the past few years along with using well known sports personalities and influencers.

Some of the brand’s most publicised marketing efforts include taking out a large billboard in Times Square in 2016 which was picked up by global media as a small Irish business punching above its weight.

Furthermore, Supermac’s ‘No Clowning Around’ humorous dig at a competitor in the height of a legal battle also resulted in widespread attention.

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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NWRA calls for ‘regional investment accelerator’ to distribute funding

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Chairperson of the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, David Maxwell

The Northern and Western Regional Assembly has called for a dedicated ‘investment accelerator’ to be set up to distribute Government and EU regional development funds – in an effort to address an imbalance.

The Government is about to decide how to spend the €1.2 billion pot of EU Cohesion Funds for the period 2021 to 2027 with €350 million allocated for the Northern and Western Region.

The NWRA wants the Government to give local bodies more control over how the 2021 to 2027 funds are spent – it suggests replicating a model that has been successfully rolled out in the Cornwall region of England.

This week, it launched a campaign called ‘Let’s Be More’ to address inequality and economic decline in the region.

The NWRA believes the region can do more with funding by:

  • Being allowed to make more localised investment decisions using a new instrument called an Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI)
  • Encouraging more action’ to stimulate research and innovation
  • Doing more to facilitate local industrial transition and entrepreneurship
  • Offering more SME supports and funds for urban rural regeneration.
  • Funding more climate-friendly innovations

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

CitySwift announces 50 new jobs for city as part of its major expansion

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Minister Hildegarde Naughton at the CitySwift jobs announcement with Brian O'Rourke and Alan Farrelly of CitySwift.

A Galway company, which produces cutting-edge technology to optimize the public transport experience for operators and customers alike, this week announced 50 new jobs over the next two years.

CitySwift, the transport data company which works with global players such as Go Ahead and National Express to transform the operations and passenger experience of public transport, announced the jobs for over the next two years – with 15 roles to be filled immediately.

The announcement comes after CitySwift secured €2m in funding from existing investors Enterprise Ireland, Western Development Commission, ACT Venture Capital, Irelandia Investment, and Mike McGearty.

The new roles will be across software, data science, and commercial roles including customer success, sales, and marketing.

As part of the rapid growth, CitySwift will also be moving to a bigger headquarters in Galway city centre.

Junior Transport Minister Hildegarde Naughton welcomed the jobs announcement.

“Growth of this scale for a local company, especially during these times, is remarkable,” she said.

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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