Chamber Golf Classic: Carlow Golf Club Wednesday June 26th, 12pm
Our annual Golf Classic takes place in Carlow Golf Club on Wednesday June 26th. The annual Golf Classic is an ideal way to network for your business while playing 18 holes on one of Ireland's finest inland Golf Courses. It's a Shotgun start at 12 noon and at €250 per team it's great value.
Make it work for your business by taking key staff members or business partners along for a great event on a great Course. If you would like to enter a team please contact the Chamber Office by phone - 059 9132337 or by email at email@example.com. You can also book your team or sponsor a tee box by contacting any member of the Board.
Networking Event: Business After Hours
Carlow Brewing Company, Thursday May 23rd
Carlow Brewing Company, also known as O'Hara's Brewery was founded in 1996 by the O'Hara family. The original brewery was located in the 19th century "Goods Store" beside the train station in CarlowTown.
Over these years, the company was able to grow a solid local support base, focusing primarily on this market, while also taking the first forays into the export market in the UK. In 2000 O'Hara's Irish Stout won two gold medals at the International Brewing Awards (a high profile industry competition) and this success attracted much international attention. On the back of this success, the company successfully grew its customer base both at home and internationally.
In 2008, the first sod was turned on a greenfield site in the O'Hara's hometown of Bagenalstown, CountyCarlow. Shortly after making this move, two new brands were created; O'Hara's Irish Pale Ale and O'Hara's Leann Follain, bringing the core range up to five beers (O'Hara's Irish Stout, O'Hara's Irish Red and Curim Gold Wheat Beer being the other three).
O'Hara's brew a range of products inspired by traditional Irish beer styles (stouts and ales) and their own interpretation of international beer styles. The company has won many prestigious awards of the years, including two gold medals for their O'Hara's Irish Stout, as previously mentioned and also the grand prize for their O'Hara's Irish Pale Ale at the 2010 Cork Craft Beer Festival.
Many thanks to Seamus O Hara who is hosting us for this nice informal networking opportunity. BOOKING ESSENTIAL - email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chamber Retail Forum Thursday, May 30th, 7pm Talbot Hotel Carlow
Co Carlow Chamber would like to invite you to a meeting to discuss Retailing in CarlowTown. The meeting will take place in the Leinster Room, Talbot Hotel on Thursday May 30th starting at 7pm.
These are unprecedented times for retailers, as a stroll down our main streets will confirm. Many retailers find themselves in a precarious and lonely place. There is an urgent need for all of us to work together and this meeting can be a starting point. Taking a back seat is an option few of us can afford to take.
Our Agenda is simple:
Where are we now? Where are we going? How are we going to get there? Are you willing to get involved?
We ask you to consider these four simple questions in advance of the meeting; come with an open mind and please contribute as we need to hear your views.
An initial steering Committee has been put in place consisting of John Brophy, Joe Tully, Eoin Kehoe, Michael Doyle, Sean Swan, PJ Hickson and Turlough O Brien.
A retail survey form is enclosed and we would ask you to complete it and bring it with you to the meeting or post it to our Office. The survey is anonymous – we don’t need names but would like location to give us relevant demographic information.
Looking forward to seeing you in the Talbot.
A copy of the survey can be requested from the Chamber by emailing email@example.com
Alternative 10 Point Plan for Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Launched
County Carlow Chamber of Commerce has today (10/04/13) launched an Alternative 10 Point Plan for Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. The plan is a response to the 10 Point Tax Reform Plan announced by the Government in Budget 2013.
Speaking at the launch, John Brophy, County Carlow Chamber Chief Executive said, “The 10 point plan announced in Budget 2013 lacked the necessary ambition to create transformative change. The measures suffer from a number of problems: too many are sector specific; too many impose unnecessary limitations and too many are little more than extensions of existing schemes.”
In response, County Carlow Chamber gathered a number of subject matter specialists along with representatives from the Chamber Network around Ireland to construct an Alternative 10 Point Plan for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.
“If implemented, the policies suggested can help businesses and in turn stimulate job creation. For example, a reduced VAT rate on housing repair, maintenance and improvements (RMI) would not only incentivise start ups and create employment in the construction sector, it also has knock on benefits for other sectors such as soft furnishings, white goods and electronics,” Brophy continued.
A 16.5% Capital Gains Tax for entrepreneurs would incentivise risk takers and support new business creation. Similarly a targeted rates reduction for businesses in town centres would support existing employers many of whom are in relatively low margin but high employment businesses. Recommendations include:
1. Introduce a Reduced VAT Rate on Housing Repair, Maintenance and Improvements (RMI)
2. Enable Start-ups to Offset Corporation Tax against Other Taxes Due
3. Halve the level of Capital Gains Tax for Entrepreneurs to 16.5%
4. Introduce a Targeted Rates Reduction for Businesses in Town Centres
5. Introduce a Double Rent Deduction for Companies with Upward Only Rent Reviews
6. Apply an ‘Ireland Rate of Return’ in Tendering Decisions for Public Sector Contracts
7. Introduce an Additional Tax Incentive Policy to Encourage Private Sector Investment
8. Promote Ireland as the Best Possible Location for Nearshoring
9. Mandate all Government Research Funding Agencies to set aside 2.5% of their Budget for SMEs
10. Introduce Further Operational Initiatives to Promote Business Interests
Chamber Mentoring Clinics
The Chamber would like to thank all those that showed up on Wednesday 27th March in the IT Carlow for the Chambers Mentoring Clinic. The night proved hugely successful and provided in-depth advice for those who wished to seek it. The Chamber also hugley appreciated the work done by the mentors and their willingness to provide advice to those looking for it.
Over the next few weeks, the Chamber will be uploading video's and photo's from the night. Richard Doyle of Creative Productions was on-hand to record short presentations from each of the mentors. The first of which was from Chamber President John Brophy, which is the first to be uploaded. The remaining video's and photo's will appear in the coming weeks.
Chamber Mentoring Clinics
Format: Panel of mentors will provide private mentoring clinics on a range of topics. The mentors are all experienced Chamber members. This event will take place in I.T. Carlow, 7-10pm, Wednesday March 27th 2013. Those who wish to avail of this service, may pick from three of the nine mentors of whom they would like to speak with. In order to book your place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org along with the names of who you would like to consult with that evening. Mentors: 1.Accounting & Taxation, Martin Carrigan: B.Comm., MBS, ACA - Senior Partner Carrigan Chartered Accountants. Martin specialises in business advisory services to the retail, pharmaceutical and hospitality sectors. Martin is the current treasurer of the County Carlow Chamber of Commerce.
2. Business Finance & Credit, Eilish Sparrow: Eilish Sparrow is a vastly experienced career banker who has recently managed in Bank of Ireland Carlow. Eilish is currently a board member with Co Carlow Chamber and has lengthy involvement with the Chamber in the region. Accessing credit has been flagged as the number one problem in the SME sector. How to obtain it is vital for businesses, big and small.
3.Entrepreneurial, Rachel Doyle: Rachel Doyle, MD of the Arboretum Lifestyle and Garden Centre, is one of Carlow’s most successful entrepreneurs. Her lists of achievements are endless and the Arboretum is a shining example of the possibilities for those of us who dare to dream. A past President of the Chamber, Rachel can share a life time of experience with budding entrepreneurs.
4.Energy Cost Control, Mark Shirley: Controlling costs is one of the first ports of call in difficult times. Energy costs can make or break your business. Mark Shirley of 2EVA provides independent advice on the best mix of products to suit your needs. None of us can afford to ignore spiralling energy costs.
5. HR Issues, Ashling Ward: Ashling has worked in Human Resources and Training for the past 17 years, both in private and public companies . Her particular interests are in managing people and building skills capacity in companies to help them perform to their best ability. Ashling also sits on interview panels for local companies to help them choose the right candidates for positions available. She also works with staff on time management and performance reviews. 6. Marketing, Mike Moore: Currently employed as Group Commercial Manager in The Nationalist, Mikepreviously worked in sales and marketing roles with Erin Foods, CateringBuyer.com and a subsidiary of An Post. Mike has particular expertise in growing revenue in business to business companies in Irish and overseas markets. He holds a BSc in Marketing from T.C.D., an MBS from T.C.D. and a Diploma in Sales Coaching from the Sales Institute of Ireland.
7. Retail, John Brophy: No sector has felt the brunt of the recession like the retail sector. John has certainly been here before. He has a lifetime of experience working in the retail sector during its most successful times and during its most difficult. Experience can’t be bought; but it can be learned from John is the incoming President of Co Carlow Chamber. John is also the Chairman of the association of Shopping Centre Managers and is the Irish representative on the British Council of Shopping Centres 8.Social Media, Karen O’Sullivan: Karen is a Marketing Manager with the Talbot Hotel Group. In this age of social media, few have successfully utilised this medium to promote their business as successfully as the Talbot. If you want practical tips on how to use social media to get people in your doors, Karen can guide you.
9.Performance Management of Staff, Ken Battigan: “Mostbusinesses are people businesses. Our staff really is our greatest resource.” Ken Battigan, Manager of the Talbot Hotel and board member of the Carlow Chamber, will share his knowledge about how to get the best from your staff, how to motivate, how to improve performance and how to allow staff share your vision.
Carlow Chamber A.G.M.
John Brophy is the new President of Co Carlow Chamber for 2013 following his election at the AGM of Co Carlow Chamber held on Thursday February 22nd in the Talbot Hotel.
John is Manager of the Fairgreen Centre and has been a very active member of the Chamber since 2007.
Members reviewed the year and plotted a course for 2013 when they met in the Talbot Hotel on Thursday night February 21st.
... Both the outgoing President Eoin Kehoe and incoming President John Brophy highlighted the importance of the Chamber in this extremely challenging environment. They emphasised the need for greater engagement with and by members in the year ahead.
CEO Turlough O Brien provided a detailed review of the year's activities and highlighted important projects the Chamber are undertaking in 2013.
Treasurer Martin Carrigan presented a detailed report on the accounts which were audited by Maher & Co, Tullow. He commented on the improved financial performance of the Chamber in 2012.
The Board of Directors for 2013 consists of John Brophy, Eoin Kehoe, Martin Carrigan, Gerry Murtagh, Mick Kelly, Yvonne O Toole, Eilish Sparrow, Martin Meagher, PJ Hickson, Debbie Boyle, John Brennan, Ken Battigan, Mike Moore and Rachel Doyle.
Pictured at the handing over of the chain of Office are Martin Carrigan, Eoin Kehoe, Turlough O Brien and Rachel Doyle
County Carlow Chamber are promoting a major EXPO in Carlow I.T. during the summer. Carlow EXPO will be a major promotional vehicle for all sectors in the County. The EXPO will provide opportunities to showcase individual business to business opportunities, create huge public awareness and an opportunity to network with other businesses. Chamber members will recieve very attractive preferential rates.
Details on the time, date and booking for the EXPO to follow.
A Year in the life of Carlow Economic History
County Carlow Chamber will be running a unique Photographic promotion for all businesses over the course of the year. This will be the Chambers contribution to "Carlow 800" and will record a year in the life of the economic history of the county in a time of unparralled recession.
We intend to photograph as many businesses and their employees as possible; from the largest companies to the smallest. Our promotion will show the resilience, determination and commitment of the business community to the County and it's citizens.
We will tribute and give recognition to the business community who contribute so much to society through employment and the conduct of business in one of the most turbulent eras in the history of the country. We have a number of promotional avenues open to us for this unique project that is already attracting positive interest. This will be a major campaign to promote bussinesses both large and small across the County.
Accredited Training Courses
We have been asked to provide accreditied training and a number of key area were identified in our survey. We have reached an agreement with I.T. Carlow to run two accredited training courses, which are as followes:
1) Management Development: This course will run over 10 weeks, 3 hours per week. This course will be run between March and June.
2) Online Marketing Strategy & Practice: This course will be ran over 12 weeks, 3 hours per week. This course will be held between September and December.
Syllabi for both courses will be forwarded later. However, there is already a huge interest in these courses and places are limited. This is an ideal opportunity for up skilling both management and employees.
The board of Carlow Chamber has been considering the responses to our recent survey of members and your responses have given much food for thought. There is strong demand for a mentoring service and we will be providing two Mentoring Clinics this year.
The format will be that we will assemble a panel of mentors with experience in a broad range of fields and mentors will have private mentoring sessions in a central location with members. Chamber members can meet any or all of the mentors individually on the night and there can be follow up mentoring sessions over a period.
A number of very experienced members have volunteered to be mentors and we are inviting other members to join a panel of mentors.
Please do not dismiss the notion of being a mentor yourself, as many of you have a lifetime of experience in your business that could be shared with less experienced members. Guidelines will be provided for mentors.
Fire Safety and Building Regulations
An are of great importance and concern for businesses is safety and building regulations. What mandatory regulations changing on a regular basis , much confusion can be greated because of this. Copunty Carlow Fire Service are providing our members with an information evening to inform and explain what is the current situation and what your responsibilities are.
We are holding this seminar in the Talbot Hotel on Wednesday, March 6th at 6.30pm.
Please confirm your attendance for next Wednesday's sales generation seminar run in partnership with Gantley Business Development. Places are limited and open to owner/managers of Carlow based business' only.
The seminar will show you how to grow your business this year and is particulary suited to owner/managers who lead teams.
Newsletter February 5th 2013: After conducting a survey at the beginning of January, with the results being published on the 25th January, the Chamber was able to devise a rough plan of what events can be expected in 2013. The results of this survey are reflected in the content of our calander of events. Although we are still finalising our events calander, we can give you an idea on some of the more important events, with full details to follow later. A list of what events are to take in 2013 can be found here.
Newsletter January 25th 2013: At the beginning of January, each member of the Chamber recieved a survey regarding the performance of the Chamber in 2012 and where they would like to see the Chamber more active in 2013. After positive feedback, the exceutive and board of the Chamber are currently reviewing the findings of this survey. The Chamber hopes to use these findings to make the Chamber stronger and more intune with the needs of its members going into 2013
Co Carlow Chamber has called on Government to take serious measures to cut public sector costs in 2013...read more here
Overall Decrease in Unemployment Figures Good News
Resolute Action on Reform Still Required
Co Carlow Chamber has today (4/1/2013) said that the latest CSO Live Register figures, which show a standardised unemployment rate of 14.6% in December 2012, down 0.3% since the beginning of the year, show that Ireland is slowly but steadily on the road to recovery.
Speaking this morning, Turlough O Brien, said “During 2012 there has been a decrease in the standardised rate of employment from 14.9% to 14.6%. This decrease coupled with growth in tax receipts, an apparent boost in retail sales and our ongoing meeting of Troika targets is confirmation that Ireland is on the right track.”
“This week’s news has been positive but must still be seen in the context of the continued enormous current account deficit of over €1 billion a month. We cannot afford to ease up on the continued public sector reform program needed to get the country back on its feet permanently,” he concluded.
Exchequer Returns Indicate Lack of Bottom Line Cost Cutting
Co Carlow Chamber has called on Government to take serious measures to cut public sector costs in 2013.
Speaking about the Exchequer Returns for 2012, Eoin Kehoe, President of Co Carlow Chamber, said “While recognising the Government’s achievements in meeting targets, vitally important in managing our recovery, today’s Exchequer Statement cannot hide the fact that Current Expenditure actually increased by €1.5 billion in 2012, with the Departments of Health and Social Protection showing a significant overspend. While the Government insists it is taking measures to cut costs in the public service, these figures do not reflect this with additional costs such as pay increments exceeding the savings being made.”
“We are particularly disappointed that capital spending was €145 million below expectations. This money could have been used to commence job creating infrastructural projects that would also aid our economic recovery,” he concluded.
more details what do wedo
Networking & Events
promoting business to business networking
& lobbying organisation
export certification service
through our Chamber Business School & Skillnets