Several local companies are infuriated with red tape and other obstacles when looking for help to expand and create jobs, the forum on jobs in Portaloise heard last week.
One company which has failed to get support is IT/APP developer Tús Nua which is on the point of “closing its doors” because it cannot get help of any sort.
Pleading with Dr Michael Brougham of Enterprise Irleand for help, Debbie Harper said that despite having “worked our socks off” the company “cannot get beyond a phone call” when dealing with Enterprise Ireland.
She said that her company was just asking that decision makers just “sit down and listen”.
Tom Hennessy of Manor Stone in Ballacolla was also left disheartened and disillusioned in his dealings with Enterprise Ireland. He felt that there was no interest in supporting companies linked to construction like his.
He said his company gave jobs in a rural area and had provided many more in the boom. He felt Enterprise Ireland was too restrictive and said it was not right that he had to present his case for support in Dublin.
“I would ask Enterprise Ireland if it would loosen their belt,” he said, adding what he has experienced so far was like “knocking our head off a brick wall”.
Helen Gee from Abbeyleix of the award winning Gee’s Jams wants to expand further but was told that to present a business plan before being considered for support but this would cost €20,000 to produce a cost too high for her business.
Pat Alley of Cynar in Portlaoise produces recycled fuel from plastics. He said his company was ready to grow.
“We are frustrated by the lack of funds from Irish banks to bring this company to the next stage,” he said.
Mr Alley also proposed that Portlaoise could be designated as a hub for companies like his.
Brian Brennan from Ballinakill said he has identified a market in South Africa for an export product but has so far failed to get backing.