News & Events

Minister Humphreys announces Taking Care of Business event, which will bring more than 25 State bodies and services together to offer advice to small businesses in the Midlands

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

• Free half day event will allow existing businesses and entrepreneurs starting new 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 preparation for Brexit

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, has called on existing small business owners, and entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business, to register their interest for the ‘Midlands Taking Care of Business’ event on Wednesday 2nd October at the Sheraton Hotel, Gleeson Street, Athlone.

This free half-day event is an initiative of the Government of Ireland, organised by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in conjunction with the Health and Safety Authority and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Taking Care of Business will bring together more than 25 State bodies, and builds on the success of previous events in recent years, which have been attended by approximately 2,700 people from across the country. In the context of Brexit, it is also an opportunity for businesses to seek advice from a range of experts.

TCOB 2019

The event will have two separate strands:

• In one part of the conference suite, State bodies will give short and concise 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;

• Complementing this, in another part of the conference suite, staff from the State bodies will welcome business people to information stands, talking directly to attendees and answering any questions they may have.

Minister Humphreys will open proceedings and she is calling on businesses across the Midlands to register for one of the limited number of places at this important event:

“Following very successful events in Dublin and the Mid-West, bringing Taking Care of Business to the Midlands demonstrates our ongoing commitment to regional development. This commitment is shown across a range of activities and policy initiatives including the Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020, which take a ‘ground up’ approach to maximise enterprise development. The Plans aim to deliver an overall jobs uplift of between 10 and 15 per cent in each region by the end of 2020 and to bring or maintain unemployment levels in each region to within at least one percentage point of the State average.

“Taking Care of Business also provides an opportunity for businesses to gain vital information, advice and insights in the context of Brexit as a number of the presentations will deal with this important topic. We also shouldn’t forget that beyond Brexit, Ireland remains a very good place to do business. We saw this, for instance in the World Competitiveness ranking, where we have gone from 12th to seventh, and second in the EU.

“On the ground, we have initiatives such as the Regional Enterprise Development Fund. In the summer, I announced a further €45m in funding under this scheme which aims to support sustainable job creation in the regions. This Fund should be seen in the context of the Regional Enterprise Plans as well as the whole-of-Government Future Jobs Ireland Plan.”

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, who will also speak at the event, said: “Small businesses are critical to Ireland’s economic success, providing the oxygen that allows regions and communities to survive and thrive. The Taking Care of Business event is unique in that it provides an under-one-roof opportunity to engage with all the arms of Government relevant to small business development. I would encourage all small business owners and budding entrepreneurs to visit the event and to see for themselves the huge range of supports and advice that are available.

TCOB 2019

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;
• Assistance and supports from enterprise agencies, and;
• Brexit, and the kind of help and supports that are available, including the Brexit Loan Scheme, will be covered.

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, 01 631 2222
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Notes for Editors

The State and public-sector offices, agencies and services represented will be:

Local Enterprise Offices

Revenue Commissioners

Enterprise Ireland

Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

Companies Registration Office

Food Safety Authority of Ireland

Health and Safety Authority

Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement

Workplace Relations Commission

Office of Government Procurement

Intreo/Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

National Standards Authority of Ireland

Microfinance Ireland

Credit Review Office

Prompt Payment Code

Personal Injuries Assessment Board

Science Foundation Ireland

Skillnet Ireland (supporting and working with businesses to address their current and future skill needs)

Health Products Regulatory Authority

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland

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

Trade Licensing and Control Unit, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation

Patents Office


Enterprise Europe Network

Supporting SMEs online tool (Access to Finance)

This ‘Taking Care of Business’ event in Athlone is supported by the Small Firms Association, Chambers Ireland, Athlone Chamber, ISME, RGDATA, ACCA, IBEC, IDA Ireland, the Construction Industry Federation, and the Hardware Association of Ireland.

The hashtags for the event are #supportforbusiness . and #TCOB2019

There will be short presentations from more than 20 of the public bodies on the day – these will be split into three separate sessions. Louise Ward, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office, Roscommon, Christine Charlton, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office, Westmeath, and John McGrath, President, Athlone Chamber, will chair the sessions

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

About Future Jobs Ireland

Future Jobs Ireland 2019, is the first in a series of annual reports as part of a multi-annual framework. Future Jobs Ireland outlines longer-term ambitions for the future of the economy out until 2025 taking account of the challenges ahead. Each year, Future Jobs Ireland will set out the steps to deliver on the ambitions with the ultimate goal of increasing the resilience of our economy and future-proofing it.

Each of the Five Pillars of Future Jobs Ireland has high level targets for 2025. Future Jobs Ireland includes 26 ambitions which contain 127 deliverables (actions) for completion in 2019. Each deliverable has a quantifiable output, a lead Department and timeframe.

In terms of implementation, Future Jobs Ireland will be a standing agenda item overseen by Cabinet Committee A. Progress on deliverables will be reported quarterly to the Senior Official Group. Biannually, more detailed progress reports will be made to Government and subsequently published.

Key deliverables for 2019 under each pillar include:

Pillar 1: Embracing Innovation and Technological Change

• Deliver important policy initiatives including an Industry 4.0 Strategy, a National Digital Strategy, and a National Artificial Intelligence Strategy
• Form Top Teams to progress areas of opportunity for Ireland beginning with Artificial Intelligence, GovTech and Offshore Renewables
• Develop Ireland as a centre for developing and testing new technologies by, for example:
o extending the EI/IDA Irish Manufacturing Research Additive Manufacturing technology centre to include cobotics and AR/VR,
o progressing the Advanced Manufacturing Centre,
o expanding the Tyndall National Institute,
o commencing the development of a National Centre of Excellence on High Performance and Nearly Zero Energy Buildings
o commencing the development of a National Design Centre
• With NESC, develop a strategy for Transition Teams to help the transition of vulnerable enterprises and workers

Pillar 2: Improving SME Productivity

• Deliver a new female entrepreneurship strategy
• Develop a new investment funding facility to assist indigenous Irish companies in scaling their businesses
• Encourage the growth of clusters where enterprises can grow and help each other and deepen linkages between foreign and Irish owned businesses
• Increase the impact of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and increase SME take-up of Enterprise Ireland (EI) and LEO productivity supports
• Drive productivity growth in the construction and retail sectors

Pillar 3: Enhancing Skills and Developing and Attracting Talent

• Offer career advice to workers through the Public Employment Service
• Engrain lifelong learning and offer career enhancing opportunities to workers
• Ensure our economic migration system is responsive to our labour market needs
• Promote flexible training options
• Provide training in emerging technologies

Pillar 4: Increasing Participation in the Labour Force

• Conduct a national consultation on extending flexible working options
• Develop guidelines for employers on flexible working options
• Develop a return to work service (e.g. for women returning to the workplace) as part of the Public Employment Service
• Improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities
• Provide incentives for people who wish to work longer

Pillar 5: Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy

• Position Ireland as a centre in research, development and innovation, for smart grids, buildings and renewable technologies
• Review the regional dimension of the economic and employment implications of the transition to a low carbon economy
• Promote electric vehicles and achieve over 10,000 electric vehicles on the road by the end of the year
• Deliver a national deep retrofit programme for existing housing stock.