Festivals and Events
A number of events positively impacted on the town this year. Firstly the very successful Book Festival in March. In April Ennis welcomed the Teachers and Probus Conferences and in May there was the IMPACT Conference. In July there was a very successful Street Festival, the County Show and the ICTU Conference. We look forward to the Merriman School and a Conference on Monastic Europe in August while September will see the Food Festival, Chambers Week and Ennis Fashion Week. Ennis Chamber welcomes the announcement that the 2016 Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann will be held in Ennis. In this regard the Chamber hosted a successful business information evening which was attended by over 50 businesses. There is a considerable amount of organisation required and the Chamber is ready to play its part in communicating with the business community. The Fleadh will also impact on Shannon, Kilrush and Kilkee as well as many other towns surrounding Ennis. Ennis Trad Festival will take place in November. Also Pride of Place Awards will return to Ennis this year.
Purple Flag audit took place in March. Feedback from the audit was positive and Ennis has been awarded the flag again. The issue of identity and branding image was raised by the Purple Flag Inspectors and this is an issue that will be addressed with the Council this autumn.
Town Draft Development Plan
Ennis Chamber prepared a significant submission to the town draft plan and although the plan has been suspended it will now form part of the new county development plan
Age Friendly Business Recognition Programme
At a recent Chamber event, Liam Toland made a presentation on the Age Friendly Recognition scheme for County Clare. Members interested in getting involved should contact the Interim CEO.
FBD Business Excellence Awards
Finalists in the FBD Clare Business Excellence Awards will be announced on September 10th. There will be an Expo to celebrate excellence in business in County Clare. The Awards Evening will be held in Treacy’s West County on October 10th.
Atlantic Economic Corridor
The Atlantic Economic Corridor is an alliance of the Sligo, Galway, Ennis, Shannon and Limerick Chambers facilitated by NUIG and endorsed by the American Chambers of Commerce. A formal signing of the Charter should take place this autumn and Ennis has been actively pursuing the issue of the state of business parks throughout the country. In June Ennis hosted a well-attended meeting of the AEC where Chamber delegates were welcomed by the Mayor and Council CEO. The Ennis Chamber CEO made a presentation exploring the work that the Atlantic Economic Corridor is carrying out.
Considerable work has been carried out by the various committees. A Professional Services sub-committee, chaired by William Cahir hosted a successful coffee morning on 24th June. The audience heard three exceptional presentations from Eugene Hayes, William Cahir and Fergal Cahill which successfully tied up the new companies Act, taxation and restructuring of companies as provided for in the legislation. The Retail sub-committee chaired by Michele Madden has been pursuing issues of parking, retail mix and security with the Council and the Community Garda. The Industry sub-committee has been focussing on issues such as business parks, apprenticeships, broadband and other services affecting industry. The Hospitality sub-committee chaired by Brian O’Neill has been focussing on Conferences, Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 2016, Promote Ennis and the Purple Flag.
Community Employment Scheme
Ennis Chamber is in their 21st year as the sponsor of its highly successful Community Employment Scheme. In total there is a Supervisor and 16 highly talented people on the scheme deployed in seven local non-profit organisations in Clare. By employing Community Employment participants, employers can avail of grants of up to €10k from the Department of Social Welfare under the Jobs Plus scheme.
Ennis Gold Gift Vouchers
Since its inception over €400,000 Ennis Gold Vouchers have been sold. Presently there is in excess of €53k worth of vouchers in circulation with 83 businesses taking part.