Business Incentive Scheme Extended

The council’s business incentive scheme has been extended to include the towns of Portarlington and Stradbally.

The council’s business incentive scheme has been extended to include the towns of Portarlington and Stradbally.

The scheme was initially introduced in Portlaoise earlier this year.

Director of Services, Kieran Kehoe said it was a little bit of support for new business.

“We hope this will encourage people to open new business on the Main Streets of these two towns. It’s a little bit of support for new business,” he said.

Cllr Tom Mulhall welcomed the expansion of the scheme.

“I would like to welcome the easement of the rates, it can be a burden on a business,” he said.

Cllr Paschal McEvoy asked the council to amend the terms of the agreement to ensure that no existing business was displaced by a new business who were paying less in rates than the existing business.

“There are three hairdressers in Stradbally, who are all local people paying full rates, I wouldn’t like to see one of them displaced by another hairdresser paying less rates.”

Cllr Aidan Mullins agreed that it should form part of the criteria.

“It should be part of the criteria that you cannot discourage existing business.”

Mr Kehoe agreed to look into the issue.

Cllr Mullins also asked about the public area enhancement scheme for this year.

Mr Kehoe said the council received €120,000 for the sheme last year, but had no idea if it would be happening this year.

“I hope it would,” he said.