The launch of Connect 2 Laois business network was held at Castle Durrow on June 8.
The event, which was organised by Laois County Council, was well attended by local businesses, financial institutions and public bodies.
The MC for the event was Kieran Kehoe, Director of Services, Laois County Council.
Addresses were given by Charlie Flanagan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, John Mullholland, Chief Executive, Laois County Council, Seamus Delaney, Director and General Manager, Internal Results and Joanna Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Connect Ireland.
Kieran Kehoe outlined how Connect 2 Laois will operate as an open and informative forum, and will be used to develop connections for the local business community and promote county Laois as a destination for investment.
Minister Flanagan spoke about the need for the private sector to become more involved in efforts to stimulate the local economy - both the Laois Diaspora Register and the County-wide business forum were cited by the Minister as an effective means through which to achieve this.
In addition, the Foodwise Stategy 2025 is considered hugely important for rural communities in Laois as it sets out a road map for developing agri-businesses – a key sector for the county.
John Mulholland stressed the need for Laois to be marketed strongly in order to to make it a distinctive locationwithin the midlands for attracting inward investment. He stated that Laois County Council would be concentrating on this in the coming months.
The main benefits for businesses locating in the county were outlined by Seamus Delaney. These include a low cost base, excellent quality of life and a loyal staff.
Joanna Murphy announced a funding allocation of €10,000 being given to Laois County Council in the coming months towards the establishment of a dedicated website tosupport Laois Businesses and to reach out to the Laois Diaspora to further support and encourage businesses inLaois.
Details of an upcoming Laois Business Survey were also announced.
The information gathered through this survey will provide the Business Support Unit, within Laois County Council, with a greater understanding of the currentbusiness environment in the county.
The Connect 2 Laois initiative was positively received by those in attendance.
To view the Connect 2 Laoisbusiness network, please visit: www.linkedin.com/company/connect2laois