Portarlington has been crowned County Laois’ most enterprising town in the Bank of Ireland Enterprising Town Awards.
The announcement was made at an awards ceremony in the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon last week.
The Bank of Ireland Enterprising Town Awards have been organised in collaboration with four County Councils and their economic teams in Roscommon, Mayo, Laois and Kildare.
The Awards celebrate enterprise by bringing businesses and community groups together to showcase the spirit of enterprise in their town.
The judging panel met with businesses, community and public sector groups in each of the participating towns in Laois to learn more about what was being done to promote enterprise within the towns.
Following this engagement, Portarlington was last night chosen as the overall County Winner and will receive a prize of €3,000 and a trophy.
There was additional success for Laois at the Awards with the Mountrath (€1,500) and Rathdowney (€1,000) Town Teams being given Merit Awards and funding to support the Mountrath Community Forum Men’s Shed Programme and the Rathdowney Community Garden Project. Mountrath and Rathdowney were two of six other towns selected from across the four counties for these special Merit Awards.
The judges found Mountrath and Rathdowney to be great examples of businesses, communities, county council and other agencies all working together with a collective focus on the betterment of the towns.
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD, spoke of the importance of local enterprise at the awards ceremony:
“I am delighted to be here to celebrate some of Ireland’s Most Enterprising Towns.
“The Government is committed to the development of towns and communities across Ireland and this initiative by Bank of Ireland allows a spotlight to shine on the breadth of local enterprise throughout the country.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy - they provide employment, prosperity and vitality to our towns and I am heartened that they can be celebrated here tonight.”
Speaking at the awards ceremony in the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon, Liam McLoughlin, Chief Executive of Retail Bank at Bank of Ireland, said:
“As Ireland’s Enterprise Bank, we are delighted to award Portarlington €3,000 to acknowledge their dedication to local enterprise.
“Bank of Ireland is focused on fostering enterprise development and entrepreneurship across Ireland, and in collaboration with the local authority in Laois, we are delighted to recognize and showcase the breadth and diversity of enterprise that exists.”
Liam McLoughlin continued:
“As a bank, we know that SMEs, Start-ups and community organisations are a major driver of the success and sustainability of every county.