Anna May McHugh of the NPA speaks at the virtual Laois Chamber meeting attended by Bernie Everard and Ciaran Finane, President of Laois Chamber.
More than 100 Laois businesses have received a rallying call from a Laois woman who is one of Ireland's most successful and respected people, according to the organisers Laois Chamber of Commerce.
The Supporting Business Together online event was hosted by Laois Chamber in association with Gas Networks Ireland and LOETB, supported by Laois Local Enterprise Office and TSSG.
National Ploughing Managing Director Anna May McHugh has seen all sorts of economic crisis but this has not stopped her and she is not letting the Covid-19 crisis stop her either. She stressed the importance for businesses owners in Laois of the need to stay the course.
“Keep going and never quit, no matter how tough things get. We will come out of this,” was her message at the virtual event staged from the Heritage Hotel, Killenard.
Laois Chamber said the purpose of the event was to highlight the range of supports that are available to Laois businesses as they navigate their way through the re-opening of the economy. The presenters outlined supports in education, training, innovation, finance and mentoring for leaders.
Among the presenters at the seminar were representatives from Gas Networks Ireland, LOETB, Solas, TSSG, Laois LEO, Laois Partnership, Carlow Kilkenny Skillnet, National Learning Network, IT Carlow - Life Long Learning, University of Limerick - Graduate and Professional Studies, Business Support Unit - Laois County Council, Laois Hubs Collective, The Cube - Low Carbon Centre of Excellence.
National Ploughing Association Chairperson, Anna May McHugh was the keynote speaker for the event.
In her address, she discussed how the Ploughing Championships had grown to be the largest of its kind in Europe and plans for hosting the National Ploughing Championships in Laois. She said plans are still progressing to host the 90th event in September 2021.
Laois Chamber Chief Executive, Bernie Everard explained the rationale for the event.
“While Covid has posed significant challenges for local enterprises, there is considerable support available to business leaders in Laois. From training and grant aid to supports from Revenue and mentorship, there is no shortage of help available.
Ciaran Finane Laois Chamber president said help is available.
“One of the greatest challenges is knowing how to access all the help that is available. Today’s event was about bringing businesses and key agencies together. Any business looking for support should contact the Chamber as a starting point," he said.
Evelyn Preston, SME Sales and Connections Manager with Gas Networks Ireland, said her company was delighted to partner with Laois Chamber in hosting the conference.
"Ireland’s SME sector is key to the recovery of our economy, particularly in regional towns. We are proud to work with Laois Chamber and its members to help support the development of local businesses. We understand the power of networks and, particularly at a time like this, businesses are stronger when they work together and share experiences and knowledge,” said Ms Preston.
Jolene Hall from the Laois Offaly Education and Training Board indicated how the pandemic has demonstrated how flexible our economy can be.
"People are constantly adapting to new ways of working. Training and continuous professional development can play a key role in helping businesses adapt, survive and thrive. LOETB has a range of training services available for local enterprises and we were delighted to work with the Chamber to highlight these to businesses,” she said.
The full recording of the event will be available on our You Tube channel shortly.
Pictured below a snapshot of the event as it was streamed from the Heritage Hotel Live Stream Studio.