Chamber News

Chambers Ireland and our network are acutely aware of the immediate impact that the Covid-19 crisis is having on businesses across the country, as well as our employees and communities. Chambers Ireland, along with your local Chamber, remain fully dedicated to supporting our business community and we will continue to work closely with regional and national stakeholders on behalf of businesses across the country.

Through this survey, we are asking for your direct feedback on how Covid-19 is impacting on your business – and wish to hear any suggestions on actions that you believe can be taken on both a national level and local level to help you navigate this difficult period.

We also wish to remind everyone to only follow official sources of information and to avail of the various supports and structures being put in place to help navigate each challenge relating to Covid-19 as they happen.



Waterford Chamber Skillnet is working with Waterford Chamber and you our customers to ensure you have the essential training you need, when you need it.

We are teaming up with our top class trainers to provide you with essential training webinars to keep your teams and businesses running as smoothly as possible during this time of change.

Join our digital training classroom and train online. We have teamed up with Sure Skills to offer the following modules which can be taken individually or as a bundle.

Effective Management & Working from Home “Series” starting week commencing 23rd March! – registrations are only being taken by website or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

– Each module is delivered remotely (Live Online)

– Each module is 3 hours in duration (9:30 – 12:30) or (1:30 – 4:30)

- Contact us to organise these for your teams only

N.B. Modules will run on a demand led basis. Please nominate your time preference

Take 1 module for €65 or 5 modules €250.

Module 1. Motivating Staff

How do We Motivate Others Remotely?

Motivation Model

The Three Elements of Intrinsic Motivation


2. Leadership in a Crisis

The 5 Pitfalls of leading teams in a crisis situation

The building blocks of Crisis Management

Taking back Control

Communication Flow for Sound Leadership

Leadership Styles and Crises

3. Role of Manager

What do you need to Be, Do and Know


What kind of Leader are You?

Flexing between Roles

4. Performance Management

Identifying Performance Strengths and Weakness

Day to Day Performance management


Identifying Under performance

Development Planning

Dealing with Failure to Improve

5. Change Management

Models of Change

Identifying Responses to Change

Staff Needs of Times of Change

How to Make it Stick

6. Team Development

Stages of Teams

Team Types

Effective Teams and How to Fill the Gaps

7. Managing Self

Emotional Intelligence in Difficult Circumstances

Time Management

Delivery of Results

Professionalism and Accountability

At a meeting of Chambers chief executives, by conference call, it was noted that disruption to the national and global economy occurring at pace. Our EU and other trading partners are taking heroic efforts to maintain employment and continuity within their business sectors.

To protect the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of Irish businesses the Chambers network calls for government to recognise the unique nature of the shock our economy is experiencing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, by foregoing Local Authority Rates and supplementing the budgets of Local Authorities by the amount foregone.

It is essential that, for the next three months:

  • Local Authorities Rates are cancelled, and,
  • That government provides extraordinary funding to Local Authorities from the Central Fund.

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Waterford Chamber and the Network of Irish chambers calls for clarity, certainty, and flexibility from the State and its agencies. As we work with Government to address this national crisis, we urge sincere engagement by state bodies to support businesses to stay afloat during these unprecedented times.

Chamber members are active in every major town and city in the country and the businesses which form our network are deeply embedded in their communities across the island. As the number of cases of Covid-19 has increased, our network has felt its impact in the local economies they represent.

Following dialogue with members, we call on the Government to take the following steps:

  •  Deferral of tax payment

VAT, PAYE and PRSI payments will be due to the Exchequer the week after next. It is essential that government allows a deferral of the payments that fall during the period of curtailment. Our membership has already felt the commercial hit of Covid-19, and many will struggle to keep their doors open in the coming weeks. Ensuring cash-flow will be critical to their ability to see this crisis through.

  • Prompt payment obligations

Our membership needs Government to ensure that all departments, local authorities, and public sector bodies adhere to their prompt payments obligations. If our members are to be able to maintain employment across the period of this economic shock, employers need state bodies to lead by example through ensuring that their bills are paid as early as possible.  

Speaking this afternoon (13th March) Waterford Chamber's Chief Executive, Gerald Hurley said, "Chambers are an intrinsic part of their communities around the country and many chambers and their members already know some of those who have been affected by the virus and are deeply saddened by the loss of life which has already occurred. And like everyone, our members are concerned for their future and the prospect that is before us.

Many small business and the self-employed have had their work cancelled for the foreseeable future, while retailers around the country have been feeling tighter trading conditions since last week, and the hospitality sector in some parts of the country are facing cancellation rates upward of 60-70%. In parts of the country where Covid-19 first took hold, businesses are already operating in dire trading conditions.

We welcome the Government’s directives today and agree with the necessity of these actions to limit people’s exposure. We stand ready to support the State in whatever future actions prove to be necessary. But we ask that the State works with us by providing certainty for business through the challenges ahead.

Government needs to develop a coordinated communications plan, working with existing networks and bodies such as the Local Enterprise Offices and INTREO to ensure that businesses have clarity about the supports that are available to them and their employees.

Most importantly, State bodies need to be sincere and flexible in their engagements with businesses."

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As of 18th March, our offices at 2 George's Street are closed in an effort to stop the spread of the Coronavirus and to protect our staff, customers and the public. Waterford Chamber and Skillnet staff are working remotely and have access to email. For general enquiries please call us at 051 872639 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Contact details for each staff member here.

Waterford Chamber Events

The following events are postponed. Other future events may be postponed in due course.

  • Business After Hours at the Tower Hotel (26th March) 
  • EY Future Finance Seminar (31st March)
  • Business Expo (30th April -> new date in September TBC)
  • Business After Hours at Shush! in The Reg (14th May)
  • AGM (25th May) has been rescheduled to 24th August

Waterford Chamber Skillnet

Waterford Chamber Skillnet is working with Waterford Chamber and you our customers to ensure you have the essential training you need, when you need it. We are teaming up with our top class trainers to provide you with essential training webinars to keep your teams and businesses running as smoothly as possible during this time of change. Visit for details.

Weekly Newsletter and Social Media

Please continue to send your Member News to us - we will include in our weekly newsletter, website and social media.

Waterford Gift Vouchers

Vouchers can be ordered on our online shop or via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Under the small benefit tax-exemption an employer can provide one benefit to an employee each year up to a value of €500. Many people provide Waterford Gift Vouchers as that benefit. During the COVID-19 crisis Revenue are concessionally allowing an employer to give this benefit more than once per year, but within the same overall limit of €500 in a year. If you wish to reward an employee at this exceptional time or wish to pay someone in excess of the income allowed under the Covid 19 income subsidy, you could use one or more Waterford Gift Vouchers. We would encourage you to use those vouchers so that the money is spent locally

Certificates of Origin

Online service as normal. For offline service, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make arrangements.

Tramore Tourist Office

The tourist office is closed until further notice. Please visit for information and send any enquiries to the Tramore Tourism Facebook page:

Useful Information



     Return to Work Safety Protocol Suggested Standard Operating Procedures for Reopening

    Supports for businesses impacted by COVID 19 Waterford SMEs Covid 19 Steps Towards Recovery

    Ireland National Action Plan Response COVID 19 Dept Health COVID 19 A3 Social Distancing

Waterford Chamber has been shortlisted for four national Chambers Ireland awards, having won the Event of the Year Award last year for Toys4Engineers.

The awards seek to recognise the outstanding work of Chambers around the country. They are a chance for Chambers to showcase their achievements in a variety of categories, from innovative projects to successful events to collaborations with local and national government.

Under the Event of the Year Category, Waterford Chamber was selected for creating the Tramore Christmas Festival, while the Regional Leaders Programme was given the nod for the Most Innovative Project.

They were also shortlisted for Marketing Campaign of the Year for Network Magazine, a quarterly in-house publication, while the amalgamation with Tramore Chamber of Tourism & Commerce was selected for Best Membership Initiative.

Speaking ahead of the final judging, Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley said it was testament to the hard work of the Chamber team and their collaborative partners that Waterford Chamber featured so strongly.

“Our team here in Chamber is small but dynamic – they are creative, hard-working and ultimately want to do what they can to support the business community. Both the Regional Leaders Programme and the Tramore Christmas Festival epitomise what collaboration can achieve, and we are very grateful to be working with important stakeholders such as Bausch + Lomb, Waterford Institute of Technology and Waterford Chamber Skillnet on the Regional Leaders Programme and Waterford Council and Every Event on the Tramore Christmas Festival, to bring these offerings to our members and the wider region.

“Network Magazine is a fantastic tool for us to promote our members, ourselves and of course Waterford as a great place to live, work, invest in and do business and we are particularly proud of it as an offering not just to members, but to the wider business community and international stakeholders.

“Our work in Tramore continues in earnest and we are proud to act as the link between the business community and the Local Authority. We adopted the new members last year and the feedback in terms of engagement and on the ground activity has been hugely encouraging, so to be recognised with this nomination is very important to us.”

The shortlist features projects from Chambers all over Ireland, including Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber, exemplifying the wide-ranging work being done around the country.

Awards will be presented for excellence in six different categories and one Chamber will be awarded the overall award of Chamber of the Year 2020.

IITD National Training Awards Logo

Waterford Chamber and Waterford Chamber Skillnet have both been shortlisted for IITD National Training Awards for their Regional Leaders Programme and Graduate Accelerator Programme respectively.

Waterford Chamber’s Regional Leaders Programme has been shortlisted in the category of “Excellence in Coaching and Mentoring”, while Waterford Chamber Skillnet’s Graduate Accelerator Programme will compete in the “Best Consultancy” category at the upcoming awards ceremony on April 24th at Killashee House Hotel.

Now in its twenty-second year, the IITD National Training Awards is recognised as the premier Learning & Development event for industry. The purpose of the IITD National Training Awards is to promote excellence, best practice and innovation in Training and Learning & Development, and to highlight the importance of this area in today’s business climate.

Speaking about the nomination, Gerald Hurley, CEO Waterford Chamber said: “The Regional Leaders Programme, now in its third year, has surpassed all our expectations in terms of delivery and engagement. We now have over 40 mentors giving of their time to develop the future leaders of our region, and we have seen 200 participants pass through the programme. We are proud to say that we have created a culture of mentoring and support among the business community through the Regional Leaders Programme. It has highlighted the importance of succession planning, supporting our employees and the benefits of having an external confidante to engage with. This nomination is a testament to the hard work put into developing and sustaining the programme but also to our partners Bausch + Lomb, Waterford Chamber Skillnet and Waterford Institute of Technology for their support and guidance.”

The Waterford Chamber Skillnet “Graduate Accelerator” programme showcases the successful collaboration and partnership between Waterford Chamber Skillnet, Bausch and Lomb and local industry including Sun Life Financial, Ernst & Young Waterford, Caratmundi, Sanofi, SE2, Jabil, Medite Smartply, and Dawn Meats in response to the learning needs of the emerging workforce in the South East. The programme is the perfect vehicle to develop and support a workforce of homegrown talent by offering practical training designed to ease new graduate recruits into their new working environment by giving them the skills necessary to become a valuable member of a larger corporate team.

Sara Mullally, Network Manager, Waterford Chamber Skillnet, said: “These awards are at the highest level in industry and we are delighted to be featured among the best in class. We take our remit as training providers extremely seriously and our core mission is to support employers in the region to grow and develop their staff to become strong professional, technical and subject matter experts in their chosen field. Waterford Chamber Skillnet is the largest Regional Network of the 70 Skillnet Ireland networks nationally, and in 2019 successfully facilitated 230 training events for 300 companies and 1,707 individuals. We are delighted to be nominated alongside Waterford Chamber and we will both certainly put our best foot forward for Waterford.”

Waterford 2040 Event Feb 2020Almost 50 leaders from Waterford’s industrial and commercial, government, educational and economic development agencies gathered for a Breakfast Briefing on Wednesday, 26th February 2020 to initiate a marketing and promotional campaign for Waterford. The initiative is as a result of collaboration between Waterford Chamber, Waterford Institute of Technology and Waterford City and County Council.

Over the past six months the agencies have created an economic baseline for the city and opportunity analysis out to 2040. This research will inform Waterford’s implementation plan to realise it’s critical role as a population centre and economic driver of growing importance and scale as outlined in the National Planning Framework ‘Project Ireland 2040’ and the National Development Plan 2018-2022.

Waterford Chamber CEO, Gerald Hurley said “For me today is about getting the message right and having an ambitious outlook for our city. Up until now, there has been conflicting economic baseline data for Waterford. This is the first time we have come together at a local level to obtain detailed and credible research and data that everyone can use to showcase Waterford as a City of Opportunity. The results of that research, combined with months of data gathering by RIKON and the information we collate here today, will give us an economic baseline for the city and present the ambitious growth opportunities that exist in Waterford. This can then be used by all of us as a tool to attract future investment and educate key influencers.”

Michael Walsh, Chief Executive of Waterford City and County Council in opening the meeting said “The National Planning Framework and Development Plan policy document re-assert our critical role and we need to identify as a city and region of opportunity where our quality of life is unique. This morning’s meeting focussed on the identification of the vision for Waterford and a number of key collaborations which will set Waterford as a place apart”. 

Prof Willie Donnelly, President of Waterford Institute of Technology concluded the meeting by saying “Waterford Institute of Technology offers an attractive opportunity as an educational leader of international repute and is proud to partner with Waterford Council and Waterford Chamber of Commerce to drive Waterford as the primary urban centre within the south east region.”

Fresh Look Waterford Retail Event

There was plenty food for thought following ‘Waterford Retail – A Fresh Look’, which saw a capacity crowd converge on the Granville Hotel for an early morning breakfast briefing to gain insights into customer behaviour in retail and data trends.

The event was hosted by Waterford Chamber, AIB Bank and Waterford Council, as part of Local Enterprise Week and was attended by leading retailers and service providers from across the city and county.

Opening the event, John McSweeney, AIB and Vice-President Waterford Chamber, offered a comprehensive overview of the current position in Waterford, enforcing the message that collaboration was key and asked for recommendations on how we should brand Waterford in terms of retail.

This was followed by an insightful presentation from Retail Excellence Ireland CEO, David Fitzsimons, who spoke of the 10 Pillars of the Future Store. He told the audience that consumers spend more in stores that are an authority on their product, embrace something different, offer hospitality and personality and sell product the way the customer wants it.

He also highlighted that stores that have a visual impact and stop you in your tracks from the outside in do much better in terms of footfall and sales generation, while the customer experience has to be to the fore in every offering.

Next up was Alan Makim, Head of Retail & Franchising with AIB Bank. Alan provided fascinating insights into consumer spending nationally but also specifically to Waterford. Interestingly, he outlined that 16% of retail spend is online in general, but when you break it down, only 3% of spending on groceries goes online. This is contrasted by the online spend in the clothing sector where 26% of the national spend goes through online channels with online clothing spend locally in Waterford slightly higher at 29%. In terms of retail leakage, while AIB figures show 69% of spend happens locally in Waterford, there is leakage going to other counties, namely Cork and Dublin the main areas of spend outside Waterford.

Following Alan’s presentation, both he and David joined a panel discussion, which also featured Steven Davy, Liquid Edge; Shana Chu, Styl.Wrap and Paul Dower, Waterford in Your Pocket, all of whom discussed the importance of data and technology for the future of retail. Shana spoke of how there are stores now all over the world where you cannot buy product – it’s all about the experience and then you order online.

Paul spoke of how important it is to brand Waterford properly and collectively as a business community we need to promote that message, while Steven said by using available data, you can make more informed decisions to benefit your business.

The event was closed out by Richie Walsh, Waterford Local Enterprise Office, who spoke of the availability of supports for the business community and the array of events which were scheduled for Local Enterprise Week.

This event is part of a strategic retail support plan which is currently being worked on by Waterford City & County Council and Waterford Chamber.

WBA 2019 Ambassador Queally Brothers

Two of Waterford’s most well-known and respected businessmen have been announced as Waterford Ambassadors of the Year at the Waterford Business Awards this evening (Friday, February 28th).

Peter and John Queally set up Dawn Meats with their partner Dan Browne in 1980 and it has grown to be one of Europe's largest privately-owned agri companies. Peter and John also established the Arrow Group of Companies in the early 1980’s.

Introducing the brothers, Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley said: “It is now my great pleasure to introduce to you two brothers from Kill and Dunhill, Co. Waterford, who have dedicated their lives to both their families and their businesses and are synonymous with the food and agriculture sector not just in their native Waterford but nationally and internationally.

“From pig production and beef farming to fresh and cooked meat processing, mineral water, petfood and coldstorage, the brothers now control one of Europe’s largest food groups with a turnover in excess of €2.5 billion and a workforce of nine and a half thousand, with over 1,200 in Waterford and the South East contributing significantly to the economic vibrancy of Waterford. I am delighted to ask Peter and John Queally to come to the stage and accept our Waterford Ambassador of the Year award.”

On receiving the award, Michael Queally, CEO of Arrow Group, on behalf of Peter and John thanked the judges “for this prestigious award which we, our families, our business partners and staff, will take great pride in”.

“On reflection, there have been three main ingredients to our success – hard work, common sense and most importantly our loyal and dedicated Staff past and present.

“We are conscious that the Chamber has had many to consider for this Ambassador of the Year Award, so once again on behalf of  Peter and John, our families, business partners and staff, to the Chamber and sponsors Eirgen Pharma – a heart-felt thank you.”

The Waterford Business Awards, organised by Waterford Chamber and partners Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber and WLR, celebrated the successes and contributions of thirty-nine companies who were shortlisted for the 13 award categories at a gala event in the Tower Hotel, with Bausch + Lomb being announced as Overall Waterford Business of the Year and the Queally brothers taking home the title of Waterford Ambassadors of the Year.

WBA 2019 Overall Winners Bausch Lomb

Bausch + Lomb were named Overall Waterford Business of the Year at the Waterford Business Awards on Friday night last (February 28th) at the Tower Hotel by Mayor of Waterford City & County, Cllr John Pratt.

The multi-national company also picked up the Exporter of the Year award on the night, which was attended by over 340 guests.

This year marks 40 years of manufacturing contact lenses in Waterford at Bausch + Lomb. Currently employing 1,400 at its plant at Waterford Industrial Park, world-wide exports are at an all-time high, driven by the success of the Biotrue One Day family of daily disposable contact lenses. The Biotrue range was developed in Waterford and there are now daily shipments from the Waterford site to markets all over the world.

The Waterford Business Awards, which are organised by Waterford Chamber, Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber and WLR and was hosted by Damien Tiernan and Julie Smyth, celebrated the successes and contributions of thirty-nine companies who were shortlisted for the 13 award categories.

Commenting at the gala dinner, Mayor Pratt said: “We have a vibrant business community here in Waterford and we are the leaders in so many fields. Tonight is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the incredible work ethic, innovation and determination that exists in business today. Just looking around the room here tonight, the nominated companies are all winners and if we continue to work together and use that same determination these people show in business to create a better Waterford, there is nothing we cannot achieve.”

Topping the categories were GIY for Community & Social Enterprise; Rob Leslie of Sedicii won Entrepreneur of the Year; Cliff House Hotel took home the Food & Beverage Award; Quish’s SuperValu were awarded Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility; Ashleigh Environmental won Environmental Excellence; New Business of the Year went to Everett’s Restaurant; Fresh Food Courtyard took home the Retail Excellence Award; Flahavan’s won for Marketing Excellence; Small Business of the Year went to Dunmore Adventure Centre; Technology & Innovation to Bausch + Lomb; Tourism Activity/Attraction of the Year went to House of Waterford Crystal and the Training & People Development Award went to Hartley People.

The Ambassador of the Year Award, sponsored by Eirgen Pharma, was presented to John and Peter Queally.

Introducing the Queally brothers, Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley said: “It is now my great pleasure to introduce to you two brothers from Kill and Dunhill, Co. Waterford, who have dedicated their lives to both their families and their businesses and are synonymous with the food and agriculture sector not just in their native Waterford but nationally and internationally.”

The shortlisted businesses were nominated by the public and also through self-nomination for all eleven categories. An independent judging panel, under the Chairmanship of Frank O’Regan, and including David Breen, David M Breen & Co; Lena Murphy, WLR; Tina Darrer, Dooley’s Hotel; TV Honan, Spraoi; Louise Grubb, Q1 Scientific, Richie Walsh, Waterford Local Enterprise Office, Irial Mac Murchu, Nemeton TV and Noel Kelly, Inspired Leaders Shape Success, carried out the difficult task of selecting the finalist shortlist and category winners after a rigorous judging analysis of each application. 

A special presentation was also made to outgoing Chair of the Judging Panel, Frank O’Regan, to acknowledge his hard work over the past six years.

Speaking on the night, Jonathan Earl, Waterford Chamber President said, “On behalf of Waterford Chamber, I would like to sincerely congratulate Bausch + Lomb on being announced as the Overall Winner of the Waterford Business Awards and to all category winners and finalists – thank you. Without your hard work and determination our business community would not be as vibrant as it is today and we wish you all continued success.”

Speaking on behalf of WLR, Des Whelan, Managing Director, said that “WLR as a local company with offices and studios in Waterford City and Dungarvan was very pleased to be involved in both organising and promoting the Waterford Business Awards. It’s such a positive night for Waterford City and County with so many world class companies and innovative business people being honoured.  My congratulations to all the nominees and winners and thanks to all who entered and supported the 2019 awards.”

Waterford City and County Council sponsored the Overall Waterford Business Award, while category sponsors include Morgan McKinley, Permanent TSB, EirGen Pharma, TOTEM, AIB Bank, Faithlegg, KBC Bank, City Enterprise Centre, PwC, Waterford Institute of Technology, Port of Waterford, Waterford Local Enterprise Office, Waterford Chamber Skillnet and Dawn Meats.


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What Our Members Say

“Tom Murphy Car Sales Ltd has been a member of Waterford Chamber of Commerce for over 25 years. It’s a membership that serves us well as we find it gives us a platform to interact with similar businesses and puts us in front of a wide audience. Having staged a number of very successful Chamber events, both at our dealership on the Cork Road and at venues chosen by the Chamber, it really puts into perspective the value of networking and meeting with potential customers face to face. We intend to continue the partnership between Waterford Chamber of Commerce and Tom Murphy Car Sales into the future, as the results speak for themselves and we see the value in being a member of Waterford Chamber.”

Tom Murphy, Tom Murphy Car Sales



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