ANDREW Shaw took over the reins as Chairperson of DownTown Portlaoise at the organisation’s constructive and well attended annual general meeting last Wednesday evening in O’Loughlin’s Hotel.
Mr Shaw succeeds the hard working Marcus Breslin at the helm and he explained to the ‘Leinster Express’ that DownTown Portlaoise, which now boasts sixty-five members, has ambitious plans for continued future growth.
“We’d a very positive meeting and we’re fortunate to have so many committed members and we intend expanding our membership in the months ahead. The more we grow the greater our mandate, our budget and our ability to drive particular promotions,” outlined Mr Shaw.
Members also discussed their provisional plans for promoting the town in the run up to Christmas and some other projects to help maintain that profile all year round.
Mr Shaw thanked local representatives and Portlaoise Town Council for their encouragement and support of DownTown initiatives and he said securing the free half hour parking in the town was crucial and a significant development.
He referred to the DownTown Portlaoise branding and how successful it has been in putting the town on the map as a shopping, social and cultural destination.
Mr Shaw pointed out that people can follow DownTown Portlaoise on facebook and twitter and he was very encouraged by the fact their number of followers on facebook has almost reached the one thousand mark. “We’ve witnessed a dramatic growth in followers of our facebook page and it is all positive.”
The officers appointed at the DownTown Portlaoise AGM were - Chairperson Andrew Shaw, Vice Chairperson Gerard Mulhall, Treasurer Marcus Breslin, PRO Alison Browne. A secretary will be appointed in the near future.
Senator John Whelan addressed the AGM and said it was ‘heartening to see some dynamic new members’ putting their names forward to join the DownTown Portlaoise committee.
He continued, “I would urge all local businesses to get behind them and to join up and subscribe for membership through the montly direct debit scheme which makes it even easier and more economical.
“Not only the businesses benefit when Portlaoise is looking its best and offering an attractive atmosphere and aesthetic for locals and visitors to like - a town we can be proud of and shop local to support local jobs as much as possible.”
Senator Whelan hailed the DownTown Portlaoise brand as ‘excellent’ and praised the logo design by Gillian Reidy and her team at Penhouse Design.
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