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WestBIC Chairman offers cautious economic outlook for year ahead

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The Galway-based head of one of the west’s leading incubation centres for new business has preached caution in his economic outlook for 2017.

At the recent WestBIC 2016 Annual General Meeting, Dr Chris Coughlan, the WestBIC Chairman pledged an even greater effort by WestBIC to continue to drive the jobs issue for the Region.

“It`s the only real, long term indicator we are interested in,” he said.

“It`s the outcome of a sustainable and well tested Applied Innovation Process and Support Service that we have been constantly updating and improving over the last thirty years.

“Innovative companies need innovative advisors and our holistic approach of offering the global standard of Applied Innovation supports, incubation, validation, investor grade Business Planning, timely access to Private and Public sources of Start and Growth Capital and, most importantly, International Networking opportunities for clients will be deepened and get our full attention” he added.

“We are particularly committed to doing more and attracting resources to the less favoured sub Regions, where the key indices of Start-Ups, jobs etc., are lagging behind Regional averages not to mind National averages.” Dr Coughlan continued.

WestBIC, as the Quality Accredited EU Business and Innovation Centre for Irelands West and North West Region, is located at seven contact points throughout the Region from Donegal to Galway.

As a Specialist Service Provider in the Governments Portfolio of Supports to Industry, WestBIC is the lead delivery Agency of the enablers of Applied Innovation which includes Incubation Infrastructure and Systems and Investor Grade validation and Business Planning support to candidate innovative Start-ups.

In the last year, WestBIC clients raised almost €6M of Start and Growth Capital from Public, Private and EU sources working closely with EI, Údarás na Gaeltachta, the LEOs, the Colleges, the City and County Councils and the WestBIC Private Equity Support Community of Business Angels, both in Ireland and overseas.

“There is no room for complacency and the recovery of jobs, particularly in the less favoured sub regions, is very much on our Agenda into 2017 and beyond. Our Board and Team are committed to that,” concluded Dr Coughlan.

CITY TRIBUNE

More than one third of adults have no pension

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The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has published new research outlining Irish adults’ preparations for their retirement.

The research findings show that a high percentage of consumers do not have any pension plan in place. When asked their reasons for not having a pension in place, 32% stated that they have yet to get around to it, 20% feel they are too young and a further 20% don’t feel they can afford it.

Almost a quarter (23%) of those in the 55-64 years age group – those who may expect to retire in the next decade – reported that they don’t currently have a pension in place. 77% of this age cohort expect to qualify for the State Contributory pension as one way of funding their retirement.

Of the 735 adults who took part in the research, two thirds (66%) stated they would be using the State Contributory pension to help fund their retirement. The research also shows that 32% of those questioned were unaware of the amount of the State Contributory pension payment (currently €253 per week).

Respondents intend to supplement their pension plans with a variety of other forms of retirement funding, including, selling a property (24%), rental income (23%), equity release (15%) and selling a business (14%). One third of those aged 25-34 expect to use funds from the sale of a property or income from a rental property as a source of funding in retirement.

Kevin O’Brien, Member of the CCPC, said: “This research suggests a lack of provision for adequate retirement income among a considerable cohort of Irish adults.

“It raises concerns therefore around the long-term financial well-being of consumers, with 38% having no pension in place.

Of those surveyed, many cite the time to set up a pension or being too young as barriers to making pension provisions.

“Pension planning is key to maintaining financial well-being in retirement and it is evident from this new research that many Irish adults do not have the necessary provisions in place to provide for a secure retirement, despite the significant tax reliefs available on pension contributions.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Local Ireland welcomes move to 0% VAT for news publishers

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Local Ireland, the association representing 32 weekly paid-for newspapers around the country, has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to remove VAT on newspapers.

President of Local Ireland Declan McGuire said: “This is a very important move for news publishers.

“Zero per cent VAT will allow local newspapers around Ireland to invest in journalism and in the transition to new digital business models.

“News publishers have faced a series of major challenges over recent years, most recently the huge increases in the cost of newsprint. This move will help support jobs in the industry and sustain the quality of our service to readers.

“We very much appreciate this endorsement by Government for the valuable role we play in our communities and the public service content we provide.

“I would like to thank the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and all the Ministers, TDs and Senators from across the political spectrum who have given their support to our campaign to end VAT on journalism.”

Executive Director of Local Ireland Bob Hughes said: “Local news publishers are the lifeblood of the communities they serve. Along with our national colleagues represented by NewsBrands Ireland, we play a vital role in Ireland’s democracy.

“Today’s decision will protect the future of trusted, professional journalism in Ireland against the tide of global disinformation that threatens to undermine healthy democratic debate and analysis.”

 

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

Galway call-out with entries now open for Guaranteed Irish Business Awards

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Pictured at the launch of the Guaranteed Irish Business Awards are Patrick Farrell,Retail Banking Director, Permanent TSB; Michael Jackson, Managing Partner, Matheson; broadcaster Anton Savage, and Christina Conlon, Marketing Manager, Guaranteed Irish.

Guaranteed Irish has announced the launch of the 2023 Guaranteed Irish Business Awards, celebrating the best of locally based businesses in recognition of their contribution to business in the country.

The Awards – back after their inaugural year – aim to put the spotlight on local businesses that have made a commitment to support local jobs and contribute to local communities across the country.

The event, which will be MCed by broadcaster Anton Savage, will take place at an awards luncheon in The Shelbourne Hotel on Tuesday, March 14 2023.

“Guaranteed Irish has been supporting businesses in Ireland for almost 50 years and is recognised as the national symbol for trust in business and provenance,” explained Brid O’Connell, CEO of Guaranteed Irish.

“It’s important to celebrate the best of homegrown businesses as well as firms that have chosen to operate locally here in Ireland. Through the Guaranteed Irish licensed symbol, consumers identify businesses that build local supply chains, support local jobs, and embrace sustainable business practices.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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