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Hopes that LEO will bring lion’s share of jobs

A NEW service for supporting Clare businesses has become operational in Ennis this week with hopes high that it will “harness innovation, grow businesses and create jobs locally.”
The new Clare Local Enterprise Office (LEO) is based at Clare County Council’s headquarters, Áras Contae an Chláir and represents a major restructuring of state support for businesses which was previously delivered by county and city enterprise boards.
Combining the resources of the Clare County Enterprise Board and Clare County Council’s business support unit, the Clare LEO is one of 31 LEOs around Ireland that is tasked with delivering services and support to businesses within a framework set by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and overseen by Enterprise Ireland.
Mayor of Clare Councillor Joe Arkins said the Clare LEO will act as a “first-stop-shop” for small businesses throughout the county.
He added, “I look forward to the newly operational LEO playing a leading role in stimulating enterprise development in Clare. I would urge entrepreneurs and micro or small business operators in the county to visit www.localenterprise.ie or contact the LEO to find out more about the supports that are available to anyone starting and expanding a business in County Clare.”
The new Clare LEO is complemented by a national Centre of Excellence providing support to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the execution of a national micro enterprise policy. The functions of the Centre of Excellence include operating Service Level Agreements between Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities and driving progression of high potential companies from the LEO network to Enterprise Ireland.
Tom Coughlan, Clare County Manager, commented, “The LEO will work to ensure that the county’s small businesses can access the support, information and advice that they need.”
He continued, “The direct links between the LEO and the Centre of Excellence mean that local knowledge will be combined with the expertise of Enterprise Ireland to give businesses the best possible start. As a result I believe the Clare Local Enterprise Office will, alongside other LEOs around Ireland, help to harness innovation, grow businesses and create jobs locally.”
Plans for the new office in Ennis were outlined at a recent meeting of Ennis Town Council where local councillors expressed concern about the level of job creation in the county capital at a recent meeting of Ennis Town Council.

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