Bernie Everard, Minister Charlie Flanagan, Martin Crowley and Louise Phelan
Work is progressing in bringing a major international agricultural company to Laois, Laois Chamber President Martin Crowley told the Chamber launch in the Heritage Hotel in Killenard on Tuesday morning.
"It's very early days in this project but we are fortunate enough to have had their CEO and their team in Laois a couple of weeks ago looking at a location in the county. Since then progress has been excellent.
"When we succeed, which we will in landing this project, the benefits will be of great significance," said Mr Crowley.
As a West Cork man, Mr Crowley, who founded the meat company Willbay Ltd, stressed the strength of the county's location.
"From Emo where my business was located I could service 23 of the 26 counties every single day, out and back. This was a massive benefit to our business, especially when you are in a fresh meat business.
"Our business was so much enhanced by our location. Our competitors simply could not compete with us."
Mr Crowley also emphasised the important of services in the county, particularly broadband.
"On broadband, Laois County Council are working very closely with the relevant stakeholders to enhance services. Cignal, one of the newest providers of broadband, have completed a €1.5m investment on 12 sites. They have identifed additional key sites as well as four more blackspots which they hope to have completed by 2020.
"The Chamber is working with British Telecom on a high level broadband service out of a site out in Knockaroo. Let's be clear, broadband is everywhere but achieving more acceptable levels of broadband is where the work is needed."
Mr Crowley also spoke of a jobs fair, a one day event which would target the 12,000 people who commute from the county.
The new Chamber he said would be inclusive of big and small businesses.
"The message is clear, Laois is open for business and investment," he stated.