News & Events

Bringing supports for small businesses under one roof

A Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation initiative, Taking Care of Business will bring up to 30 State bodies together to offer advice to small businesses

  • Businesses called on to register for event showcasing the advice and supports available to small businesses from a diverse mix of State bodies

  • Free half day event will allow businesses to meet experts from a range of public bodies

  • Opportunity for small business owners to get advice on diversifying into new export markets in light of Brexit

An Tánaiste and Minister for Business Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald TD, together with Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen TD, today, Wednesday September 13th, called on existing small business owners, and people thinking of starting a new one, to register their interest for the ‘Taking Care of Business’ event on Wednesday November 8th at the Printworks Conference Centre in Dublin Castle.

The half-day event is specifically targeted at people thinking of starting a business as well as small business owners and managers. In the context of Brexit, it is also an opportunity for businesses to seek advice from a range of experts on how to diversify and expand into new markets.

An initiative of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Taking Care of Business will bring together up to 30 State bodies, agencies and units, and builds on the success of previous events in recent years, which have been attended by more than 2000 people from across the country.

The event will have two separate strands:

  • In one part of the conference centre, State bodies will give presentations focusing on the key regulatory requirements for operating a business in Ireland, as well as on the supports available to help entrepreneurs develop their businesses;

  • Meanwhile in another part of the conference centre, staff from the State bodies will man information stands, talking directly to attendees and answering any questions they may have.

Calling on businesses to register their interest for the event, An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD (who will officially open the conference in November) today said: “This Government is committed to supporting businesses and helping to reduce burdens on them, in particular in the context of Brexit and the challenges that they may face. Our Action Plan for Jobs, which my Department oversees, clearly demonstrates the importance we place on the SME sector, who play such a vital role in job creation.

This event provides a fantastic opportunity for small business owners, entrepreneurs and those who want to start up businesses to get advice from a wide variety of agencies, on topics as diverse as health and safety and access to finance, for instance. We all want, and need, small businesses to succeed and this event is part of our efforts to explain, simply and clearly, government regulation, and how best to deal with it.”

Minister for Trade, Employment and Business Pat Breen said: “We are committed to providing the most supportive environment possible for those seeking to create and develop their businesses. This event offers a tremendous opportunity for SMEs, entrepreneurs and those planning to start businesses to speak directly to all the relevant offices and agencies and to get advice and clarity on what supports are available to them. This event will, in the space of a half day in one location, help SMEs and potential business owners better understand what they need to do, how they can do it most easily and what supports are available to them”

The State offices and agencies represented will provide information across a wide range of areas, including:

  • Tax, employment and Health & Safety obligations;

  • Legal requirements for setting up and running a business;

  • Requirements in areas such as food and environmental safety;

  • Advice on government procurement and intellectual property; and

  • Assistance and supports from enterprise agencies.

A number of representative bodies from industry are also supporting the event and will be available to talk to attendees on the day

To register for the event and for more details including the running order of presentations and the full list of State Bodies attending, please visit

Early booking is strongly advised as there are a limited number of places available.


For further information please contact Press Office, D/Business, Enterprise and Innovation 01 631 2200 or

The twitter hashtag for the event is #supportforbusiness.

Photographs to follow from Fennell photography

Notes for Editors

The State offices, agencies and services represented at the event will be:

  • Local Enterprise Offices

  • Revenue Commissioners

  • Enterprise Ireland

  • The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

  • Companies Registration Office

  • Environmental Protection Agency

  • Food Safety Authority of Ireland

  • Health and Safety Authority

  • Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement

  • Workplace Relations Commission

  • Office of Government Procurement

  • Department of Social Protection / Intreo

  • Data Protection Commissioner

  • National Standards Authority of Ireland

  • Microfinance Ireland

  • Credit Review Office

  • Prompt Payment Code

  • Personal Injuries Assessment Board

  • Science Foundation Ireland

  • Skillnets (supporting and working with businesses to address their current and future skill needs)

  • The Pensions Authority

  • Health Products Regulatory Authority

  • Solas/ecollege

  • Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland

  • Solvit (informal problem-solving network for EU citizens and businesses)

  • Patents Office

  • IntertradeIreland

  • Enterprise Europe Network

  • European Commission

  • Supporting SMEs online tool (Access to Finance)

    There will be short presentations from 24 of the bodies on the day – these will be split into three separate sessions. Mary Rose Burke CEO of Dublin Chamber of Commerce, will chair the first set of presentations, Linda Barry, Assistant Director of the Small Firms Association, and Donal de Buitléir, Director of will Chair the remaining sessions.

    ‘Taking Care of Business’ is supported by SFA, Chambers Ireland, ISME, RGDATA, ACCA, IBEC, IDA, Construction Industry Federation and the Hardware Association of Ireland.

    Biographies of Participants in Photographs

    Mary Rose Burke

    Mary Rose Burke is the Chief Executive Officer of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. Mary Rose previously held the position of Director of Corporate, Strategic and International Affairs for Ibec, and before that held the position of Director of Pharmacy at Boots Ireland. Prior to joining Boots, she worked at the HSE, and previously established and managed her own business. She has also been a council member of Chambers Ireland and the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. Mary Rose is a pharmacist and Council member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland.

    Linda Barry

    Linda Barry is Assistant Director of the Small Firms Association. She works with government and key decision-makers at all levels to ensure that the economic environment is conducive to small business establishment and development. Linda is also responsible for research and surveys, business queries, publications and SFA events. Her academic background is in History and Political Science and she worked in a range of research and policy roles in Dublin and Brussels before joining the SFA.

    Dr Donal de Buitleir

    Dr Donal de Buitleir is Director of – an independent think tank.  He is currently Chairman of the Low Pay Commission. Previously he worked in both the private and public sectors serving in the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Finance. He is a former Chair of the Business Regulation Forum.

    Philip Martin

    Business owner Philip Martin opened the Little Ass Burrito Bar on Dublin’s Dawson Street in 2012 because of his love of Mexican food. A year later, with the assistance of Teagasc, he began researching the idea of setting up a corn tortilla production unit. He then began talking to the Local Enterprise Office in Tipperary and received a grant, which facilitated the setting up of his production unit in Clonmel. His company Blanco-Nino began selling to the Food Service sector in Ireland and soon received enquiries from food service distributors in export markets. Their products are now available in 10 export markets across Europe. The company has since moved from their Local Enterprise Office to Enterprise Ireland and is also supported by Bord Bia.

    Gerry Raftery

    Gerry Raftery is Chief Operations Officer with Blanco Nino. Gerry is the former CEO of Dawn Fresh Foods and has an extensive knowledge in new product development, production, finance, sales, export markets and foodservice sector dynamics. Gerry’s focus, role and responsibility within the Blanco Nino team is the management of the production facility, ongoing development of production, operation procedures & manuals and the day to day management of all the production operation.