Chamber News

IMPRESS Survey

In the European Union, work-related stress (WRS) is the second most common work-related health problem, after back pain, affecting 28% of EU workers. As a response to the WRS issue, the EU has funded a series of research projects focused on identifying the stress factors and developing tools that can be used to tackle the issue at organisational level.

As part of our development strategy, Waterford Chamber is working with a network of business organisations and universities all across Europe to develop practical solutions to a variety of business issues affecting our members and the SE region in general. These networks have been set-up to take advantage of EU sponsored programmes in the area of Knowledge Alliance and Exchange of Best Practice that can provide educational and training programmes relevant European wide issues such as WRS etc.

Waterford Chamber has been invited to join one such programme, called IMPRESS and is funded by the Erasmus+ Program, KA2-Knowledge Alliances. There is a large research element to the project which is conducted by our scientific partners, University of Barcelona, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, and Riga Technical University.

Waterford Chamber must now assist our scientific partners to collect the relevant research data from our members and extended networks across the South East – the collected research will form the basis for a suite of practical tools that can be deployed by front line managers to identify and mitigate the effects of WRS. The greater number of surveys collected in Ireland will contribute to the development of approaches and tools that are more relevant to the Irish workplace.

Given this, it would be much appreciated if you could complete this survey and distribute to other colleagues and staff members for their input, by clicking on the link below – the data will be saved anonymously and analysed by our scientific partners.

The results of the survey will be available to all participants, and the approaches and training tools will be further disseminated by the Chamber through a series of workshops and seminars. Following these workshops five organisations will be selected to take part in the field testing of the developed tools – the field tests are funded through the IMPRESS project.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

Take the survey: http://www.ibk.eu/surveys/IMPRESS/Survey(EN).htm

Further details on the survey: http://www.ibk.eu/surveys/IMPRESS/stress_at_work_survey.pdf

There were plenty of beers, blaas and banter at the Waterford Chamber Business After Hours on Thursday night last at the Metalman Bar on the Quay.

With an array of Metalman craft beers, including the Blaager and Red Led, aptly coupled with red led blaas from Walsh’s Bakehouse, guests heard owner Grainne Walsh speak of how the idea of the Blaager was born and how the craft beer industry is going from strength to strength in Ireland.

New Waterford Chamber President Kathryn Kiely congratulated Grainne and her partner Tim Barber on their success, from concept through to now exporting to China. She also spoke about the importance of trade and promoting the Waterford brand on a global scale.

The next Waterford Chamber event is the President’s Lunch, where Ms Kiely will welcome a Senior Representative from the British Embassy to Faithlegg for a sumptuous corporate lunch on Friday, June 29th.

For tickets or more information, contact Lynda Lawton on 051 311130 or see www.waterfordchamber.ie.

Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley has welcomed the news today that the second and final objection to the North Quays Strategic Development has been withdrawn.

“Waterford Chamber strongly supports the development of the North Quays and we are delighted the objection phase is now behind us and we look towards a brighter future for Waterford.

“The development of the North Quays will elevate Waterford as a true destination to explore the South East and Ireland’s Ancient East. With an iconic skyline to welcome visitors old and new, this development will reflect a renewed pride in this ancient city.

“The development will be a key enabler of growth and will support Waterford and the South East in achieving their, as yet, unrealised economic potential. For year, in Waterford, there was a glass half empty attitude but since the announcement of the North Quays development, the attitude has changed to the glass is half full and the other half is full of opportunities.

“In fact, from speaking to our members, we cannot emphasis enough the importance of the North Quays development and the positive vibe that exists around it. It is seen as the catalyst for the next two decades of growth and prosperity in Waterford.

“The proposed €300+m investment by the Fawaz Al Hokair Group will be the largest commercial investment Waterford has ever seen, and sends a clear message internationally of the level of confidence in the South East region as a place for foreign direct investment, whilst at the same time cementing Waterford’s status as capital of the South East region.

“We believe the development of the North Quays will enhance the existing retail offering and go a long way towards addressing the current retail leakage from the South East region. In addition to the existing attractions, it will also add a new dimension to the offering in terms of high-end retail tourism.

“The relocation of House of Waterford to a larger site on the North Quays and the direct link between it and the city centre via the new bridge will be hugely significant in terms if tourism for Waterford and the South East. This bridge will ensure that the North Quays will become an integral part of Waterford’s urban spine running right through the city centre core along Barronstrand Street and Michael Street to John Street. It will also help unlock more of the potential of the existing riverside walkway along the south-side of the river.

“According to the IDA, Waterford currently lacks an available stock of well-located, suitable ‘Grade A’ office accommodation. The North Quays site is a great opportunity to address the lack of suitable office space which is required to attract companies looking to invest in Ireland.

“We also need to be cognisant of the fact that this development will create thousands of sustainable jobs and provide much needed housing.

“It is our view and the view of our members that the development of the North Quays begins without haste and today can be considered the start of a new era for Waterford.”

AGM 2018 Kathryn Kiely

Kathryn Kiely co-owner and Director of Glazik Ltd., was elected President of Waterford Chamber at the 231st AGM in the Granville Hotel last night (Monday, 28th May 2018).

Kathryn has worked closely with Waterford Chamber for the last six years, as a member of the Jobs Enterprise & Innovation Committee, the Executive Committee and also as a board member. Prior to her current role she worked as Head of Industry Services in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) where she played a significant role in developing and managing the Institute’s research, innovation and enterprise development programmes.

Addressing Waterford Chamber members, she said: “One thing which we are all certain of in business, is that change is the only constant. In Chamber over the last year we have had many discussions with our members on what they see as the key challenges. While challenges in business can be very specific to the day, sector or size of your company, there are a number of common themes which now prevail or are predicted to be challenges in the coming years. These include access to a skilled workforce and talent required now and for the workforce of the future; our susceptibility as an open economy having to face factors such as Brexit, impact of changes in US economic policies, EU regulation, introduction of disruptive technologies which fundamentally change established business models and ensuring the competitiveness, attractiveness and vibrancy of Waterford as a location for companies to provide sustainable employment and quality of life.

“Reflecting on these challenges and building on the work of Chamber over the last number of years, I have set three key priorities in my role as over the next 12 months – enhancing connectedness, capability building and continuing to influence the planning and development of Waterford as the regional city of the South East.”

Outgoing President Paul Nolan thanked his family, colleagues at Dawn Meats and Chamber staff for their ongoing support over the past twelve months and said while he was looking forward to having a bit more free time, he was certainly going to miss the role of President and the opportunities it presented to represent the business interests in Waterford throughout the year.

“There have been so many highlights since I took office, but the standout for me was to have An Taoiseach Leo Varadker and the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe come to Waterford and announce the plan for Ireland 2040 and the role Waterford will play in them as Regional Capital. The vision outlined, coupled with the announcement on the same day regarding the Technological Universities Bill, ensures a brighter future for Waterford.”

Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley reported that Chamber is performing better than it has in years, which was reiterated by outgoing Treasurer Ronan Brazil, who confirmed that membership was growing and Chamber is in a very solid position to develop going forward.

In recognising outgoing President Paul Nolan for his tireless work and thanking all sponsors who have supported the organisation throughout the year, Mr Hurley said: “It has certainly been a busy year on the Chamber front, as being relevant to our members is our primary focus and so as to ensure that we adequately represent the voice of our members, we introduced policy Advisory Panels, to guide our policy positions on issues that are impacting on our members businesses.

“Throughout the year we made a number of submissions to Government Departments, working with our members, through our Policy Advisory Panels, we have gathered, analysed and presented the clearest of pictures in terms of what the Waterford City region needs to prosper and we are delighted to see some of our agendas feature in the Ireland 2040 plan. Our panels offer a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience and I believe that by working closely together – sharing our ideas and our influence – we can make an even bigger impact on the future of Waterford.

“We also met with many local and national elected representatives to lobby on behalf of Waterford businesses, will continue to do so in earnest in the year ahead. Networking and connecting business people is at the core of what we do and our free Business After Hours, Business Expo, President’s Lunch, Annual Dinner and other key events continue to prove popular.”

A special motion was put to the floor following the voting and passed unanimously, “To increase the maximum number of elected Directors appointed to sit on the Board of Directors of Waterford Chamber from eleven to twelve, for this current term (May 2018 – May 2020) only2. To that end, the new Board of Directors is as follows:

President: Kathryn Kiely, Glazik Ltd

Deputy President: Jonathan Earl, B2B Communications

Vice-President: Danette Connolly, Home Instead Senior Care

Ex-Officio: Paul Nolan, Dawn Meats

Honorary Treasurer: Martina Curtin, PwC

Brian Devereux, EY

Ciarán Cullen, ArcLabs

Derek Lowry, Almega Business Consulting

Edel Spillane, Sun Life Financial

Jacqui Kielthy, Fieldmaster

John McSweeney, AIB Bank

Kieran Walsh, Munster Express

Niall Griffin, Metalman Engineering

Nuala Browne Treacy, Meraki Marketing

Pamela Pim, Bank of Ireland

Richard Hurley, The Granville Hotel

Valerie Farrell, Nolan Farrell & Goff

Join President Kathryn Kiely and the incoming Board of Directors at Waterford Chamber’s President’s Lunch on Friday, June 29th in Faithlegg, where a Senior Representative from the British Embassy will make the keynote address. For bookings contact Lynda Lawton on 051 311130 or see www.waterfordchamber.ie.

Niamh Briggs Regional Leaders

Inspiring, humble and honest are just some of the words that were heard after the recent Regional Leaders Programme speaker session, as Irish International Rugby player Niamh Briggs joined outgoing Waterford Chamber President Paul Nolan for an open mic session.

Niamh, who is originally from Abbeyside, spoke from the heart on how recent injuries left her feeling angry and bereft and out of love with the game. But with the help of her family and friends, she began her slow recovery and is back fighting fit and more determined than ever.

Speaking to a large group of programme participants, mentors and invited guests at the Lighthouse Restaurant in Dunmore East Golf Club, Niamh and Paul offered their experiences on leadership, achieving results, the importance of teamwork and creating a work/life balance, all of which are integral topics within the Regional Leaders Programme structure.

Speaking after the event, outgoing President Paul Nolan said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to ask Niamh about her own personal experiences. The level of engagement from the participants in attendance showed how well she is regarded, not just on the pitch, but also as an inspiration for many young men and women out there. Her honesty and integrity is certainly inspiring and she epitomises what the Regional Leaders Programme is all about.”

The inaugural year of the programme is now drawing to a close and Waterford Chamber, along with programme partners Bausch + Lomb and Waterford Chamber Skillnet, are busy working on year two, which will commence in September.

The programme is aimed at professionals who want to develop their leadership skills or for companies who would like to increase the capacity of their internal talent pool to ensure the next generation of their company is in safe hands.

Participants enjoy one to one mentoring with business leaders, as well as group mentoring and guest speaker sessions over the nine month period. Year one saw nearly 30 mentors and 45 participants work together and the booking process is now open for year two.

Leadership and professional development is a key component of the Bausch + Lomb ethos, making them the ideal partner for the Regional Leaders Programme.

“We are delighted to partner with Waterford Chamber on this programme. What we have learned over the past twelve months is there is a keen appetite for continuous professional development. Being a leader today is challenging and this programme helps current and potential leaders explore their leadership style through the guidance of the Business Mentors”, said Jackie Roche, Learning + Organisational Development Manager, Bausch + Lomb.

The cost for the eleven month programme is €350 for Waterford Chamber/Skillnet members and €499 for non members. For more information on the Regional Leaders Programme, please contact Lynda Lawton on 051 311130 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Chambers Ireland has today (3 May 2018) welcomed the launch of the Flood Risk Management Plans accessible via the new website www.floodinfo.ie, from the Office of Public Works.

Speaking this afternoon, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive, Ian Talbot said, 

“Today’s launch of the Flood Risk Management Plans marks a concerted effort by Government to commit to a holistic, nationwide approach to flood defences and to develop greater infrastructure to prepare for more frequent occurrences of adverse and disruptive weather conditions".

Several of our members have been particularly affected in recent times by the increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, which has resulted in considerable cost to local businesses in their region.

While some progress has already been made in a number of towns, clarity around the time frame of implementation of the plans announced today is essential for members throughout our Network, particularly for the Chambers situated in the heavily flood-afflicted areas of Ireland. 

More detail is required to provide an assurance and relief to homeowners and local businesses nationwide.”

The countdown is on for Waterford’s biggest event of the year as Waterford Chamber gear up for their annual Business Expo.

‘The Ultimate Business After Hours’, which is sponsored by BMCI Insurance & Investments Ltd., will take place on Thursday, April 19th at George Corbett Motors on the Cork Road from 4.30pm to 7.30pm and it is free for the public to attend.

Stop by and join in the fun as local businesses put their best foot forward and showcase their fantastic services. There will be giveaways, fairytale characters, a chance to meet Olympic athlete Thomas Barr and Munster rugby star Jack O’Donoghue and much much more. WLR’s Teresanne O’Reilly will be broadcasting live throughout the day and Waterford Chamber President Paul Nolan says it’s definitely a date for the diary.

“Promoting our members and facilitating networking opportunities is to the core of what we do at Waterford Chamber. The Expo is the ideal chance for smart businesses to showcase all they have to offer and feedback from the previous years indicates that a lot of business is done at this event. It’s fun, it’s relaxed and it’s a great way to make new sustainable contacts and generate those all important sales leads.

“We are delighted to have the support of BMCI Insurance & Investment Ltd for the fifth year running and of course also the backing of a great team at George Corbett Motors. We would encourage everyone to stop by on the day and make the most of the Expo experience.”

The Business Expo is open to both Chamber members and non-members to attend and exhibition stands are just €125+VAT for members, which includes the provision of a pod table.

For more information, see www.waterfordchamber.ie or call Lynda Lawton on 051 311130.

Chambers Ireland Brexit Survey Results

Ahead of the EU Council meeting scheduled to take place next week on the 23-24 March, Chambers Ireland today (16 March 2018) published the results of a survey of the Irish Chamber Network, revealing that an overwhelming majority of Chambers (97%) believe a transition period following the UK’s exit from EU next March will be necessary. 75% of Chambers responding to the survey recommended that a transition period should last longer than two years.

Chambers continue to believe that Brexit will be a challenge for their members, with three quarters of responses confirming that Brexit presents more challenges than opportunities.

With regard to the consequences of Brexit, Chambers were asked to identify their three biggest concerns, which were as follows: a return to a Hard Border with Northern Ireland, a reduction in trade in goods and services and a negative impact on tourism in Ireland. Chambers were also asked to outline their top three priorities for the next phase of negotiations on the future trading relationship. No hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, no tariffs between the EU and UK and ongoing regulatory alignment between the EU and UK were identified as the leading three priorities.

When asked how Government should support business in the context of Brexit, responding Chambers identified the following as the best way Government could ensure Irish businesses are supported: ongoing increased investment in capital infrastructure; maintenance of the 12.5% corporate tax rate to secure increased FDI; and ongoing investment in trade finance to support market diversification. Speaking this morning, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said, “The results of our survey illustrate that an overwhelming majority of our member Chambers believe that a transition period will be necessary following the UK’s departure from the European Union next March, with three quarters of responding Chambers outlining that more than two years will be required in order for business to adequately prepare and adjust to any form of new trading relationship with the UK.”

“Twelve months on from the UK Government’s decision to “trigger” Article 50, businesses are still no clearer on what the future trading relationship will look like. This is significantly impacting upon investment decisions and the future planning of operations for businesses. Despite the negotiating parties’ commitment last December to no Hard Border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, Irish Chambers remain concerned about the UK’s continued commitment to leaving the Customs Union and the EEA, and how this will impact trade between the two islands, the tourism sector and indeed our relationship with Northern Ireland.

“We commend the consistent and clear approach taken by the Irish Government in highlighting the importance of a deep and ambitious trading relationship with the UK for Ireland’s economy, while also continuing to make the case for the necessity of maintaining a soft border with Northern Ireland.

Urging businesses to plan for Brexit is important but realistically very few SMEs can afford the resources necessary to plan for the multiple potential scenarios which we continue to face. Clarity is desperately required.

Government can of course do more to support Irish business. Delivering upon committed increases to investment in infrastructure, particularly our roads and ports, remains vital and will ensure that businesses are better placed to adjust to the post-Brexit trading landscape. Our ability to continue to attract foreign investment and our ability to diversify the markets in which we trade will be crucial if we are to maintain growth as an economy. As such, Government must focus on enhancing our national competitiveness and ability of Irish firms to compete abroad as much as possible in preparation for whatever form Brexit takes.

The UK’s exit from the EU is far from desirable, but we are confident that it will also bring opportunities for Irish business; preparedness to seize them is where we must now focus. By 2020, 90% of world GDP growth is expected to come from outside of the EU. The Irish economy must continue to have a global outlook and Government must support Irish businesses to tap into the potential of new markets like Japan and Canada, following the recent free trade agreements made between these countries and the EU.

Waterford businesses are gearing up for the biggest networking event of the year as Waterford Chamber announce details of their annual Business Expo.

‘The Ultimate Business After Hours’, which is sponsored by BMCI Insurance & Investments Ltd., will take place on Thursday, April 19th at George Corbett Motors on the Cork Road from 4.30pm to 7.30pm and it is free for the public to attend.

Following on from the success of last year’s event, this year Waterford Chamber is guaranteeing even more exhibitors, more fun and lots of promotion for its members.

Speaking about the event, Waterford Chamber President Paul Nolan said: “The feedback from our members clearly demonstrates that this is one of the favourites of the year, which gives them the chance to meet with other members in a relaxed and fun environment and yet behind all that, there is some serious business done. Contacts are made, deals are done and of course discounts are offered. There’s no sitting down allowed – it’s all about meeting new people, doing business and enjoying an afternoon away from the office. We would encourage all business people to stop by on the day and make the most of the Expo experience.”

Sponsor Teresa Jane O’Mahoney of BMCI Insurance and Investments Ltd. said: “We are delighted to be associated with this event for the fifth year running. It goes to the very heart of what BMCI is about, working with our business peers to create a better, safer and more successful working environment. As an SME, this is a fantastic opportunity for us to connect with other businesses and generate sales leads and we would encourage all our fellow Chamber members and the wider business community to do the same.”

Event host George Corbett said: “We are delighted to open our doors to Waterford Chamber for this event. It’s one we have enjoyed over the past number of years and see it as a great opportunity for the business community to network, generate sales leads and support local enterprise, whether you decide to exhibit or not.” The Business Expo is open to both Chamber members and non-members to attend and exhibition stands are just €125+VAT for members, which includes the provision of a pod table.

For more information, see www.waterfordchamber.ie or call Lynda Lawton on 051 311130.

Project Ireland

Waterford Chamber today (16th February 2018) welcomes the publication of Project Ireland 2040 and the National Development Plan.

Responding to the publication, Waterford Chamber President Paul Nolan commented: “Project Ireland 2040 has been years in the making and throughout this period of stakeholder consultation Waterford Chamber, together will all regional Chambers, proactively engaged in submitting recommendations to Government which, we are pleased to note, have significantly impacted upon the final document.

“We are particularly encouraged that priority has been given to delivering the North Quays SDZ regeneration project, as well as the provision of funding for Waterford Institute of Technology to develop as a Technological University, both of which are game changers for Waterford.

“We now have the opportunity to develop as a Centre of Excellence for Disruptive Technology, particularly paying reference to the €500m Innovation Fund announced today. This will compliment the existing businesses which have contributed significantly to the region heretofore. 

“While we welcome the commitment to improved connectivity to Dublin and Cork, we feel for the South East region to develop to its full potential, connectivity with Limerick and onto the Western corridor must be given priority. We will continue to work on behalf of our members and the wider business community to deliver this and have made a submission to the Southern Regional Assembly to this effect.

“The commitment to invest significantly in public transport is laudable and, along with the emphasis on re-developing brownfield spaces, will enhance our city environments and reduce urban sprawl, thus improving the quality of life and the attractiveness of the Waterford City region as a great place to live, work and do business in.”

Speaking on behalf of Waterford Chamber’s Retail Advisory Group, chairperson Jacqui Kielthy said: “We welcome the development of the North Quays, which will enhance the existing retail offering and go a long way towards addressing the estimated €350m retail leakage from the South East region. We look forward to meeting with representatives from Al Hokair and determining how we can work together to deliver a quality experience for the increased footfall.”

Join Waterford Chamber on Tuesday, February 27th in Garter Lane Arts Centre at 7.30am for a panel discussion led by John Moran, Former Secretary General at the Department of Finance & Director, European Investment Bank.

CSR for SMEs Guide

Chambers Ireland has published a CSR for SMEs Guide which outlines the benefits of CSR and ways that SMEs can engage, including the offer of one-on-one meetings with CSR experts from Chambers Ireland's Policy Council at a location convenient to them, and free of charge.

This is an excellent opportunity for an SME to develop a plan for CSR in their company with the help of an expert.

Click here to download the CSR for SMEs Guide.

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What Our Members Say

“We found the Toys 4.0 Engineers exhibition to be an excellent platform for us to showcase our business. The attendees were exactly the people we hoped to meet and we are delighted to have made new contacts as a result. We also unexpectedly had some success in making supplier connections with other exhibitors. The venue was ideal with adequate sound and space and the presentations were informative. Overall the event was professionally run and we had an excellent experience. We will definitely be exhibiting again next year. I cannot recommend the event highly enough.”

Emma Lacy, Marketing Manager, Horan Automation & Consulting

 

 

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