Waterford News

LEO Rooted SolutionsSome of Waterford’s most innovative and entrepreneurial students will be eagerly logging online next week for the National Final of the Student Enterprise Programme. For the first time since the programme began in 2003, the National Finals will take place online and the region will have 2 student enterprises involved on behalf of Local Enterprise Office Waterford.

Rooted Solution, winner of the Senior award from St. Augustine’s College in Dungarvan created a business selling affordable tree saplings with biodegradable packaging to help sustain the environment.

The county’s intermediate entry is DownWriteGood! from Our Lady of Mercy secondary school, Waterford. It is a stationary enterprise which offers eco-friendly and sustainable products with superior functionality that maximise desk space and efficiency

Having originally been scheduled to take place in Croke Park on the 1st May, the Local Enterprise Office run awards, will be announced virtually on Wednesday 27th May via live stream on the Student Enterprise Programmes Facebook and YouTube channels.

Waterford has a proud tradition on the Student Entrepreneur Programme through its Local Enterprise Office, including a former national winner, Cathal Daly.

The students and teachers from across the country will watch along online to the event hosted by RTE’s Rick O’Shea and will be joined during the ceremony by previous winners and Student Entrepreneur Programme Ambassador, Josh Van Der Flier. The rugby star previously took part in the initiative when he was a student at Wesley College in Dublin.

The Finalists have been announced this year with a record number of 85 student enterprises competing in Ireland’s largest entrepreneurship programme for second level students. The initiative, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country, close to 26,000 students from almost 500 secondary schools across the country take part.

Some of the finalists this year include an alarm that helps wake small children who can sleep through regular high frequency alarms, eco-friendly products such as beeswax film, an alternative to clingfilm, a bottle stopper to help prevent drinks tampering, germination balls that can be thrown on soil to help generate new wildlife, and stress hampers filled with stress relieving products.

The National Final students are competing across three categories, Junior, Intermediate and Senior and judging is ongoing virtually with the finalists nationwide via electronic submissions. Each student enterprise is challenged with creating, setting up and running their own business, which must show sales of their service or product. The judging panel includes business owners and representatives from enterprise agencies and associated bodies.

This year’s Programme also saw two new pilot competitions across the Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories. The first, the “My Entrepreneurial Journey” pilot was run in the Junior and Intermediate cycle and open to any students involved in wider competition. It required them to map out the life of a successful entrepreneur and how that could be achieved.

In the Senior category there was a new “Go Green: Be Sustainable Creative Business Competition”. In this new pilot competition students could push their most innovative business ideas via a video pitch, without having to produce a product or service and was open to all senior students taking part in the wider competition.

Chair of the Enterprise Education Committee with the Local Enterprise Offices, Michael Nevin, said; “As a programme we are lucky in that much of the work that students were doing in relation to their Student Enterprises was done well before this pandemic broke out. So, there is no reduction in the quality of entries, if anything we have bigger final this year and some outstanding entries. Looking through the Finalists you can see that students are more conscientious than ever when it comes to solving problems they see in everyday life, affecting the environment and the people around them. It’s encouraging to see the focus that the next generation are putting on making the world a better place and irrespective of who wins, we will see some great student businesses coming from this.”

Since 2003, over 200,000 students have taken part in the Student Enterprise Programme. Last year again there was great variety across the entries, and the winners. In the Junior category, Specrest from Fingal in Dublin designed a 3D printed biodegradable clip that will secure glasses on clothing. Smooth Remove from North Cork, a device for shoe removal won in the Senior category while Crios Mhadra from Kerry, a dog safety harness for car travel took home the Intermediate prize.

Full details of all this year’s 85 national finalists are available on the Student Enterprise Programme website at www.StudentEnterprise.ie

RIKON Pat Lynch Dave MitchellA team of business strategists, technologists and design thinkers at one of Waterford Institute of Technology’s research centres RIKON are offering their services to businesses across Ireland impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Research centre RIKON is an approved supplier for the Enterprise Ireland/IDA and Local Enterprise Office (LEO) funded Business Continuity Supports for Enterprises as a direct response to Covid-19. However, it is also offering its services to help businesses navigate the many different support schemes available to them.

There is assistance for all business types and sizes says Dr Pat Lynch, Co-founder and Director of RIKON, whether a sole trader, IDA company, Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Office client.

“In recent weeks, it has been heartening to see the resilience and adaptation of SMEs to the COVID-19 environment, finding new and innovative ways of working and utilising technologies.  We are responding to an array of client issues such as crisis management, process optimisation, supply chain resilience, digital transformation, scenario planning and business model innovation….all to ensure that companies are best prepared for ramp up post-crisis,” says Dr Lynch.

“The funding landscape has become increasingly crowded and RIKON is happy to work with companies to simply establish where they fit in this new landscape and determine which funding option is best for them. We are working hard to assist companies through the application process and secure the appropriate funding,” adds Mary Clare Curran, Commercial Manager, Business Strategy and Marketing at RIKON.

RIKON is already working with companies under these new funding streams as well as the more established Innovation Vouchers and, of course, larger funded projects.

Normally based at WIT’s ArcLabs research and innovation hub, the RIKON team has adapted its way of working and moved its services online. Its BizTech strategists specialise in solving business problems and creating commercial opportunities through pioneering research advancements across business strategy, innovation, design, operational excellence and technology optimisation. The RIKON mix of business strategists, technologists and design thinkers create, incubate and deliver a future business that produce extraordinary results and allow you to leapfrog your competition.

“Our experience is that client companies have been happy to adapt to a new way of working with us and we hope to continue to provide support and advice to as many businesses as possible in the coming months,” adds Dr Lynch.

TablepaySCNE are delighted to announce a brand new feature specifically targeted to support and facilitate the safe reopening of Restaurants and Bars amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Tablepay is a brand new addition to the app, that will allow customers to safely Order, Pay For and Receive their Food & Drink directly to their table. It comes at a time where, in a world of social distancing, contactless options have never been more prevalent and SCNE hope that in providing a safe, yet highly convenient option for customers, it will play a great role in restoring confidence and peace of mind when revisiting Waterford’s fantastic hospitality and tourism sector in the very near future. 

Similarly, this has been an extremely stressful and turbulent time for the amazing Waterford venues and in light of this, SCNE wants to help, which is why this brand new, easy-to-use, TablePay technology will be offered to all Waterford venues completely FREE of charge during the midst of this pandemic. Venues simply upload and provide their amazing existing offerings to SCNE’s system and they handle everything else. 

Jordan Casey is the 20 year old creator of SCNE: “This has obviously been an extremely turbulent and unprecedented time for everybody including all of our amazing venue partners. In attempting to make do with the time I had to reflect over the past 2 months and also in an effort to see how we could support our venues, the idea for Tablepay came about. We’ve seen huge success with these types of products on a national level previously, and we feel that now, more than ever, there is a real demand and necessity for a zero-contact solution that at the same time proves to be very convenient and could certainly help in reattracting customers.” 

Since launching in July, SCNE has amassed over 5,000 downloads from Tourists, Students andlocals alike and aims to be a primary showcase of everything happening in Waterford City.

The app has been well received, boasting over 45 partners from Restaurants, Bars,Nightclubs, Theatres, Purple Flag and even WLR, with SCNE hosting an in-app listening facility.

This growth has spread quickly, with SCNE launching in Galway in January 2020 with Cork and Limerick launches scheduled later in the new year. But WIT student Jordan has not stopped his plans in Waterford, with his native land being placed firmly at the forefront of his plans with further partnerships and integration efforts firmly in the process for the new year.

SCNE has undergone a full redesign with a tourism-centric approach and we look forward to playing an active role in reopening the bustling hospitality 

SCNE are making an active call to any local business or venue interested in learning more about this free product. Please Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Message “SCNE Waterford” on Facebook. Alternatively visit thescne.com

SCNE Have created a video outlining Tablepay's Role in Safe reopening:

St Michaels HallBallyduff Upper, nestled on the Waterford / Cork border, has always had a strong sense of community and kinship. However, now more than ever, during the COVID-19 pandemic, has the village embraced its community and created a strong support network for its inhabitants.

St. Michael’s Hall has long been the centre point for community classes, fundraisers, music and drama groups, mother & toddler groups senior citizens groups and Butterflies Playschool and most evenings the hall is buzzing with activity and life.

However, the current crisis has impacted severely and has left many villagers without use of the hall’s facilities and also without the services of the Carnegie Library, the sports hall and the community playing field.

According to Agnes O’ Donoghue, Administrator, the loss of St. Michael’s Hall has left many without a social outlet. “Before Coronavirus, these amenities were in use practically every day and every evening. The hall was full of groups of all ages, interacting, learning, having fun and just being together. However, when the virus hit, we were very conscious of the safety and health of our users and of course, following Government guidelines shut all facilities, which left a big gap.”

“We realised it was necessary for the community to support those who were cocooning, vulnerable or isolated. The Community COVID-19 Volunteer Group was set up and put a community text alert in place. Anybody who was worried about a neighbour or relative could get in touch and we could arrange shopping or prescription pick-ups, or even just call by to make sure they were safe and well. It’s testament to the wonderful Ballyduff community spirit that we were inundated with offers of voluntary help.”

“Many of our tutors who rent the hall set up virtual yoga, pilates and fitness classes so their clients could continue to exercise and keep healthy and limber, while they were indoors.”

“It has been tough, and many people are feeling a little deflated and alone, but it has really emphasised the strong community spirit in Ballyduff and it will make us an even more close-knit community.”

While St. Michaels Hall, the Carnegie Library and playing facilities are looking forward to opening when allowed under the phased government strategy, work is ongoing to ensure all safety measures are adhered to, to keep the community safe.

Agnes said, “We are very mindful of the changes that need to be made before we can open the doors again. That will mean operating a little differently in the future. We have taken plenty of precautions and are following all HSE guidelines.”

“Hand sanitiser stations will be at the entrance and exits, we have removed many chairs from the hall so the two-metre social distance is adhered to, we have set up space for one-to-one meetings with plenty of space available so everyone keeps apart. These changes are crucial to ensure that our community can get back to the Hall in time, safe in the knowledge that it is our intention to keep them safe.”

St. Michael’s Hall has always been at the heart of Ballyduff Upper, and even in these trying times is making plans to return to the hub of the community. Many charities and organisations depend on the Hall for fundraising events and upon reopening, St. Michael’s Hall intends to reschedule these worthy events and no doubt, Ballyduff’s spirit of community will be at the forefront in supporting these events.

OrdeeAs the government has outlined their plan to get hospitality businesses open, many still wonder how this will work? For members of the public how will they know if a pub, restaurant or shop is safe to enter? How many people are inside and is that premises adhering to the safety guidelines? For pubs, hotels and shops, how do they monitor numbers in store in real time and how do they ensure that they are adhering to the guideline for the safety of their staff and customers?

Say hello to Ordee. This innovative Irish start up are on a mission, “to get hospitality & retail back to business, safely” says Anthony Cronin, CEO and Co-Founder, a Tallow resident and former Waterford Young Entrepreneur of the year for the international award winning Flexiwage Application.

“Ordee” allows publicans, restauranteurs and retailers to put their energy into their passion, while the GPS based App ensures that their venue is remaining compliant with “Return to Work Guidelines”. The cloud based platform will allow owners to easily document and broadcast their venues compliance and availability to their customer base. “It’s critical that venues can re-engage with their customer base, while at the same time ensuring everybody can have a great and safe night out” assured Cronin.

Customers will be able to inform themselves, through Ordee, as to what venues have socially distanced space available and reduce contact by ordering and paying directly from the App. “Ordee looks after the order processing and payment too, so venues can give reassurance to their customers while focusing on great service” said Cronin.

Peace of mind will be hugely important for returning pub, restaurant and retail customers. Ordee can give customers a way to see where is safe to go now and for returning hospitality businesses, an easy way to monitor and comply with the social distancing guidelines while engaging in a positive way with new and returning customers. Also subject to approval and meeting criteria from a companies local enterprise office, businesses with under 10 employees may be able to avail of a voucher funding 90% of the cost of the platform!

Visit the website www.Ordee.ie for more information or contact on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The app is available to download from the AppStore from the 30th of May with live demos via webinar for businesses commencing now.

WIT Angela CollinsWaterford Institute of Technology (WIT) Careers Centre is giving employers the chance to both market their companies and help final year students through an upcoming virtual careers fair.

Instagram is the platform of choice for the WIT Careers Centre Virtual Careers and Employability Fair which will run between Monday 18 and Friday 22 May when students finish their summer assessments.

Business owners and HR staff across a range of companies from start-ups and SMEs to indigenous and multinational companies are invited to take part.

Angela Collins, Head of Careers at WIT says the most basic option is for participants to provide answers to four questions which will help graduates.

“This is a strange time for everyone especially those just graduating so to give them help with your own knowledge or tips and tricks you picked up along the way is invaluable.”

Employers can submit written answers or a video of them answering these questions .

“It is a fantastic opportunity to market your company/opportunities you may have and to share some employability hints and tips with our students. You will also be providing an invaluable service to our students and graduates in these unusual times,” adds Collins.

Another option is for company representatives to participate in 15-30 minute live stream Q&As on Instagram. This facilitates students asking questions during the stream.

“Due to the Covid-19 we are looking at different ways of engaging with employers and we feel collaboration now is more important than ever. As an employer you can play a key role in shaping our understanding of where we are now recruitment wise and what the WIT Careers Centre must do to position itself and our students for the recovery,” she says.

Employers who would like to participate can email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Follow @WIT_careers_centre on Instagram.

The four key questions:

Question 1          Who you are and what you do?

Question 2          From what disciplines are you looking to recruit from?

Question 3          How do students /graduates apply?  CV? Application form? Telephone interview?

Question 4          If I could give an applicant one piece of advice what would it be? Or

What advice would you give an applicant when applying for jobs?

The WIT Careers Centre is also open to adding questions that employers want to answer.

Lafcadio Japanese GardensOnline festival will allow people to explore biodiversity from home or within 5km radius via online guided walks and activities developed by guides for all

16-24 May marks the 16th year of the Bealtaine Living Earth biodiversity festival. Coordinated by Calmast, Waterford Institute of Technology’s STEM engagement centre, the festival brings groups from across the south east of Ireland together to celebrate biodiversity and our Living Earth and is funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

This year’s festival will be a little different explains Calmast Manager Dr Cordula Weiss. “With the current restrictions in place, the festival will be bringing these events directly into your home, through online guided walks and activities for all the family, allowing you to see and appreciate the biodiversity at these wonderful sites but also explaining how to explore the biodiversity on your doorstep.”

Featuring a curated online tour of the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens through four seasons, a guided wellness walk in JFK arboretum, rock pooling videos by the Sea gardener Marie Power, self-directed workshops and guides of the Copper Coast, activities exploring the biodiversity in your garden- there is something for everyone at the festival.

"For the past 15 years, the festival has hosted expert guides bringing the people of the south east on guided walks and talks to the beautiful settings like Mount Congreve, the Waterford Greenway and along the Copper Coast, and the JFK Arboretum. In addition to events in these wonderful locations the festival has always promoted the idea of biodiversity all around us, in our own neighbourhoods and our doorstep. Now in this time of lockdown, there has never been a better time to hear and see extraordinary things in ordinary places - bird song, flowers, trees etc," she says.

The full festival listing and details of online events will be added to www.livingearth.ie.

"The festival includes activities to celebrate many international days for example, there will be an interactive quiz on Instagram to celebrate the UN International day for Biological Diversity on 22 May. We are also celebrating World Bee Day on 20 May, with activities based on the wonderful world of bees, exploring why we need to protect bees, and their ecosystems as they are key to conserving biodiversity - a cornerstone of the UN Sustainable Development goals," adds Dr Weiss.

Each day of the festival will feature a different venue with guided walks, and videos, self-directed guides for people to do in their 5km radius while maintaining social distancing, and activities for all the family to do. The festival plans to have a group of experts on hand to answer the public’s questions on plants, trees and other aspects of biodiversity. Details and schedules will be added to www.livingearth.ie and https://www.facebook.com/bealtainebiodiversity.

The website has plenty of resources and activities for all the family to do in your back garden to explore biodiversity. There are many guides available on the website to use to explore the biodiversity in your garden and local area many supplied by the National parks and Wildlife services. These include making a butterfly feeder, ideas on how to have a biodiversity scavenger hunt in your garden and much more.

County Wexford is well represented in the Bealtaine Living Earth Biodiversity festival, with a guided wellness walk in the JFK Arboretum led by Horticulturist Mary O’Neill Maloney OPW, JFK Arboretum.

JFK guides Gerry O’Neill and Leona Tuck with their instructional guide will show people how to make a beautiful colourful madela using natural materials from your garden.

Celebrate the UN International day for Biological diversity May 22nd with a Biodiversity quiz on Instagram developed by Leona Tuck of the JFK Arboretum. 

Tipperary Council Library services have kindly provided the Bealtaine Living Earth Biodiversity festival with many guides on how to explore the Biodiversity on your doorstep and in your garden, including guides on how to make a willow hut and how to make a Bug Hotel. Why not celebrate International Bee day (20 May) with activities developed by Tipperary Council.

Bealtaine is the Irish word for the month of May and it comes from the ancient Celtic festival of Bealtaine when our ancient ancestors celebrated the revival of growth after the hardships of winter. The festival symbolises hope, and looking to the future, something that is so important during these times. The festival allows everyone to explore the wonders of nature, and promotes connecting with nature for mindfulness and wellbeing, something that is more important than ever during this Covid-19 pandemic.

www.livingearth.ie and https://www.facebook.com/bealtainebiodiversity

Waterford Business Supports Hub

As part of the ongoing collaboration between Waterford City and County Council, Waterford Chamber, Dungarvan and West Waterford Chamber, Waterford Business Group, Waterford Local Enterprise Office and Enterprise Ireland, a new web resource has been launched so as to bring all the current and emerging supports for Waterford businesses onto a single digital platform during this Covid-19 crisis.

The whole idea behind the Waterford Business Supports Hub is that Waterford businesses, seeking guidance, will need to access just one primary local resource. This resource, in turn, will have summaries of the main national supports as well as appropriate links and signposting when required.

The very clear message associated with this collaboration is articulated by the Council’s Director of Services for Economic Development, Michael Quinn when he says: “It is only through a real commitment to working together that we can ensure that Waterford’s business interests are best served during this crisis and, more particularly, in its aftermath.”

Chamber CEOs, Gerald Hurley (Waterford) and Jenny Beresford (Dungarvan & West Waterford) agreed stating that they would be urging their members to not alone exploit the new resource but to influence its further development. In a joint statement, they said: “ The Chambers value this partnership and project, having a local online Business Hub eliminates unnecessary time wasting and encourages a stronger connection with other stakeholders. Collaboration is paramount at this time to ensure a cross county recovery.”

Likewise Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise with LEO Waterford: “This platform has been devised so as to ensure that Waterford businesses have the very best of access to clear, concise information and guidance.  Please use it.” Says Michael Garland, head of the Waterford Business Group: “Information is key to our joint recovery and having one website where all the information is available for business will put us ahead of the game”.

So, there is indeed an overriding message emerging which will drive Waterford’s business recovery in the months ahead and it is this – “Together Waterford Is Stronger”. In the meantime, if you’re in business in Waterford, please check out the new Waterford Business Support Hub at http://waterfordcouncil.ie/businesssupportshub

WIT Neil Quinlan Helen MurphyWaterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is launching a new initiative aimed at supporting businesses across the South East during Covid-19.

This initiative is open to individuals (employed and unemployed) currently working in enterprises across the South East or those seeking work in the region.

This WIT Enterprise Support Initiative is a short-term measure: a suite of short online programmes and support services to industry to address immediate needs. WIT Enterprise Support Initiative includes short online programmes in payroll management, finance and governance, digital marketing and managing stress and building resilience during these difficult times.

“Enterprises across the South East are experiencing huge challenges as a result of the current Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses are under significant strategic, financial and operational pressures to review, re-assess and re-position in light of temporary business closures. This initiative is targeted at local companies who may wish to migrate some key business processes online,” says Dr Helen Murphy, Head of the School of Education and Lifelong Learning in WIT.

The online programmes have been developed by staff in the WIT Schools of Business, Health Sciences, and Education and Lifelong Learning. The deadline for applications is Thursday, 14 May 2020 with courses set to start the following week.

The WIT Enterprise Support Initiative will launch in May 2020 and run through until September 2020. Participation on these short programmes is free of charge and places will be offered on a first come first served basis. Individuals can apply and eligibility will be checked by the WIT team. To book a place on any of the above programmes please visit www.wit.ie/parttime

WIT will offer a full range of part-time programmes in September 2020. Many of these programmes will be fully or part subsidized under the Springboard+ initiative. Full details of all part-time programmes will be published in June 2020 with start dates from September 2020. See: https://www.wit.ie/schools/education/parttime-courses

Dr Thomas O'Toole, Head of School (Dean) of Business adds “Whilst our societal challenge is to stay safe and well, businesses and individuals working in them will need much agility and innovative ability to get back on track to recovery post-pandemic. This is why, in addition to all our ongoing programmes directed towards enterprise we have decided to reach out with some additional offerings.”  

Additional supports include business consulting services through the RIKON innovation centre and Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouchers through ArcLabs, the institute’s research and innovation hub.

RIKON is an approved supplier for the Enterprise Ireland/IDA & LEO funded Business Continuity Supports for Enterprises as a direct response to Covid-19.

Details on Four Free Online Courses Starting May 18th

Digital Marketing and Social Media (6 week on-line programme – 10 credits at level 6): This course provides learners with the detailed and practical knowledge required to develop digital marketing and social media expertise including Digital Marketing Planning, Strategy and Tools; Social Media Strategy, Planning and Tools; Digital Marketing Analytics. This course may assist companies seeking new modes of promotion using virtual tools.

Payroll and Computerised Accounts (6 week on-line programme – 10 credits at level 6): This course focuses on migrating existing payroll systems to an on-line environment. The Payroll aspect of the course will cover Setting up Payroll, Processing Payroll and Report generating. The Financial Accounting aspect of the course will cover Purchase Ledger, Sales Ledger, Nominal Ledger, Banking, VAT and Reporting. This course may assist companies seeking to migrate existing paper-based systems to payroll services on-line.

Certificate in Management of Work-Related Stress (12 week on-line programmme - 20 credits at level 6): The course consists of two ten credit modules. Module 1 aims to equip workers with the requisite skills, knowledge and competences to manage their personal levels of work-related stress, while Module 2 aims to help workers create a less stressful working environment. Assessment for the course is based on the completion of a series of activities that are work-based and submitted in the form of a digital portfolio. The course is also delivered entirely asynchronously, which means that the learners can access the course content at a time and place that suits them and submit their completed portfolio activities at the end of each module. This course may assist employees and managers in managing stress both at individual and organisational level during these challenging times.

Financial Management and Governance for Social Enterprises (6 week online programme 5 credits at level 7): This online course aims to provide people working in the social enterprise sector with an understanding of the principles, processes, and practices of effective financial management in a social enterprise. It will also give participants an introduction to the parameters of modern governance of social enterprises in order to meet the expectations of major stakeholders. It may be of assistance to any social enterprise currently managing funding and other financial challenges during this period.

To book a place on any of the above programmes please visit www.wit.ie/parttime

LEO Joe KellyWhile the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a wave of extraordinary challenges and uncertainty to Irish businesses, Local Enterprise Office Waterford is providing a wide range of business services to SMEs. Free HR, digital and finance advisory clinics are available to any local business, regardless of its scale or sector, which needs assistance in accessing support.

Joe Kelly, Financial Enterprise Consultant brings decades of financial experience to his role as mentor with Local Enterprise Office Waterford. From a career in banking, to Enterprise Officer with Waterford Area Partnership, Joe has worked with SMEs, charities and large organisations in helping them achieve long-term viability.

However, in these unprecedented times Joe has been working extensively with clients on a virtual and confidential basis to help them address the financial challenges of Covid-19.

“This pandemic has brought a whole new set of challenges to businesses on a scale never experienced before. The reverberations of Covid-19 have been felt in every industry and every sector.”

“For many businesses, the sudden loss of revenue and cash flow with little or no warning has put thousands of businesses under huge financial strain. For those who have had to lay off staff, reduce working hours or top up salaries with reduced or no revenue has put them in a financial quandary.”

However, Joe advises that there are ways in which companies can mitigate the financial impact and that starts with putting a plan in place.

“Most businesses will need to reach out to their suppliers, lending institutions and creditors, so make sure your financial information is as up to date as possible.”

Firstly, create a business plan for the next six to twelve months along with sales projections. Identify gaps in cash flow and be ruthless with overheads. This may mean getting in touch with suppliers to stretch credit terms or negotiating rent and terms with landlords. Some banking institutions are amenable to loan and mortgage moratoria so get in touch with your bank.

This can, of course, be daunting for any business, particularly as it is against a backdrop of not knowing if, and when business will ever return to normal. However, there are supports available and Joe advises reaching out to the many organisations that offer support and advice. “Get in touch with your Local Enterprise Office, local Chamber of Commerce, SBCI, The Office of the Revenue Commissioners or the Department of Social Protection.”

Going forward, companies will need to look at how to innovate the business model given that social distancing may be here to stay.

Joe adds, “It is not possible to predict the future for business but for the foreseeable future we must accept the old normal is gone. However, business has always had its challenges and if we stand together these present difficulties will be overcome.”

If your business has been affected by Covid-19 and you need financial advice call the LEO Waterford office and a dedicated specialist will get back to you to discuss your business issue. This is a confidential service and is open to all businesses. LEO Waterford will also endeavour to signpost you towards further Government and State agency business supports.

Businesses can also avail of the Business Continuity Voucher, which is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to help business owners make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.

To book your free virtual consultation, via Skype or phone, call 0761 102905 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and a dedicated mentor will get in touch with you.

For further information about any of the above measures visit https://sbci.gov.ie/ or https://www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/

 

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