Govt and banks urged to react positively to those still struggling

By Maurice Garvey

STABILITY and growth was the key message from the 21st South Dublin Chamber AGM on Wednesday morning at the Maldron Hotel in Tallaght.

Whilst the organisation fuses positive and pro-active approaches, South Dublin Chamber CEO Peter Byrne urges people to be aware that “many businesses badly damaged during the recession will not be in a position to capture new opportunities for some time.”

South Dublin Chamber Pres Sherri Brennan 

Mr Byrne said said: “These businesses need access to capital and a restructuring of their debts. We have to learn from the recession and take the good bits.”

This was view echoed by South Dublin Chamber President Sherri Brennan, who is now entering the second year of her two-year presidency.

Ms Brennan said: “As a business community, we can sometimes be seen to be purely profit-led, but we are not. Our community is one where we should help each other.

“To this end we call on the Government and our banks to look with a positive view on those that have yet to show clear signs of recovery.”

Brennan said 2015 was a good year which saw “some real increases in sales and growth”, and cited a number of key issues the Chamber focused on, including registering as a lobbying organisation, job retention, credit for businesses, lobbying for local infrastructure, and opposition to illegal trade and exorbitant business costs which “hinder development.”

Mr Byrne also highlighted Brexit as another “area of major concern for smaller companies.”

He said: “The [British] referendum is in June, and small companies have received no assurances. We’re asking if anyone has friends or family in the UK, to ask them to vote to remain in.”

Plans to broaden economic development with a trade mission to Florida at the end of May were also discussed.

Up to 14 businesses are confirmed so far for the four-day trip to Tampa, which follows an agreement with South Dublin Chamber and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

“We have an agreement with South Dublin County Council and IT Tallaght, to present a united front for business in the county,” said Mr Byrne.

Ms Brennan praised the council for council partnership work. She thanked volunteers for their “unseen work” and The Echo for its support of initiatives.

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