Only communication a €22,000 rates bill

A Laois businessman has accused Laois County Council of not doing enough to support new businesses.

Speaking at the launch of last week, Erwin Cobbe said “The only communication I got from the council was a bill for €22,000 for rates”.

“We opened last September and have ten people employed. All business people want is a little encouragement. I know from my dealings with local authorities over the years that they seem to put obstacles in the way to hinder you. No-one rang to say ‘good man, you’ve got ten people employed’,” he said.

Mr Cobbe, owner of Ercob in Portarlington later said he received a grant from Laois Enterprise for his new venture Irish Polymer Extrusion, and suggested a rate free period for start-up businesses.

He said the council’s planning section were “quite good” in their assistance, but “there is no agency that will come out and talk to you about working together, it doesn’t happen.”

Mr Cobbe has since agreed to meet with Evelyn Reddin, Head of the new Local Enterprise Office (LEO), now based in county hall.

“I would be more than happy to meet with Mr Cobbe to discuss his business needs and see how the LEO can help his business,” she offered, adding they are a “first stop shop for anyone thinking of starting or growing their business”.




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