Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Local Enterprise Offices
It is a priority that the 31 Local Enterprise Offices as the first stop shop for business are sufficiently resourced to tackle the dual challenges of Brexit and COVID–19. The Local Enterprise Offices have access to an additional capital funding of €11m in Budget 2021 and this funding will be used to service an expected increase in demand for core supports and tailored training programmes for small and micro enterprises impacted by Brexit and COVID-19.
The Local Enterprise Offices have been at the forefront in delivering supports to business during the current crisis, delivering key measures such as Business Continuity Vouchers, Trading Online Vouchers (TOV), the Micro-Enterprise Assistance Fund, and MicroFinance Ireland loans. They have achieved this whilst also continuing to deliver on their core business supports such as Feasibility, Priming and Business Expansion grants and ongoing Mentoring and Training interventions which were moved to an online platform to accommodate COVID-19 Restrictions.
The additional resources are predicated on the critical need for the Local Enterprise Offices to have in place dedicated staff and supports to ensure that micro enterprises can sustain operations in the short to medium term and increase productivity, employment, revenues and exports in the medium to long term.
The additional resources will be targeted to ensure that we can support entrepreneurs enhance their capability to build value ensuring viability and growth and will also enable the Local Enterprise Offices to develop and implement further programmes aimed at green enterprise initiatives, digitisation and financial capability in small enterprises.
The Local Enterprise Offices’ Centre of Excellence is currently collating individual Local Enterprise Office budget requests prior to submitting them for approval to the Enterprise Ireland Board in early 2021. It is only after this approval has been given that the individual Local Enterprise Office budgets will be agreed.