Michael Hanley, CEO, states that:
“We have to be realistic, business needs have changed and enterprise support structures need to change also.
The Enterprise Board has been limited to a degree over the years by virtue of its own constitution prohibiting micro credit, loan guarantees and support for businesses employing greater than 10 people.
The Boards have consistently highlighted such deficiencies to our lead Department and have presented comprehensive proposals for solutions. It is anticipated that the roll out of the Local Enterprise Offices will address these shortcomings.
Any measures undertaken have to reflect an innovative and flexible approach to the way we do our business.
The current restructuring acknowledges the need to provide a range of local supports targeting all businesses with clear accessibility retained on a local structure with local flexibility.
Many of the measures proposed in the 2012 Action Plan for Jobs are ones that the County Enterprise Boards have been calling for to be implemented over a sustained period. These include the development of the “one stop shops” or “local enterprise offices”, the avoidance of duplication of enterprise supports particularly at a local level, the roll out of a micro enterprise fund and the extension of benefit cover to the self employed.
I also believe that a region like West Cork has significant natural resources other attributes and the development of a county loan guarantee fund or a county development fund, which would assist small business credit, should be a priority. The use of a guarantee fund would drive a tactical enterprise agenda. We need to be smart, based on the limited resources we have at our disposal.
Core to this restructuring should be local decision making, local flexibility and allocation of funding and I am confident that the new structures will incorporate these requirements”.
West Cork Enterprise Board,