Today I want to welcome the 2014 annual results for the Local Enterprise Offices, showing that nationally 4,012 extra jobs were created by companies supported by the Department of Jobs through the LEOs.
Locally in Co. Meath 154 extra jobs were created by companies supported by the Meath Local Enterprise office in 2014. The Meath LEO supports 180 client companies in the County. They employed 804 people in 2014, an increase of 19% on the previous year.
Last year the Westmeath Local Enterprise Office supported 242 client companies in the County in providing 1,284 jobs. The number of Local Enterprise Office supported jobs in Westmeath is one of the highest in the country outside of Dublin, and the highest in the Midlands. They employed 1,284 people in 2014, an increase of 38 jobs, or 3%, on the previous year on a strong base.
Last year the system of 31 Local Enterprise Offices was established to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ system of enterprise supports to start-ups and small businesses across the country. These figures today show the reforms are working.
Start-ups are at the heart of the economic recovery. 2 out of every 3 new jobs in Ireland comes from a start-up enterprise. They need every support and encouragement possible from the state. Every new job is a life back on track, it is a family supported, it is human potential fulfilled.
The new LEO system means that people thinking of starting or expanding a business in every part of the country are able to access the full range of State supports provided by different Government bodies – for example local authorities, Enterprise Ireland, Revenue, the Department of Social Protection, the Credit Review Office, training bodies – in one easily accessible location within Meath and Westmeath County Councils.
Meath has such much more potential to unleash. The aim of making a Co. Meath a hub for new food and technological start-ups as part of Meath County Council’s new economic vision for the County will create real, local and sustainable high value jobs for the local economy.