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March 05, 2012

Eilis Quinlan Elected President of North Kildare Chamber


Opening address of the new President of North Kildare Chamber, Eilis Quinlan:

Eilish-Quinlan “I am delighted to take over as President of North Kildare Chamber, and especially at such an exciting time for businesses and the wider community in Ireland.

While there are very obvious challenges facing business in the years ahead, there are also huge opportunities, and a hunger among people for positive change to happen and for progress to be made on the opportunities that undoubtedly exist.

And at such a challenging time for our County, I feel we need the business community to take a leadership role in our Society.

The forthcoming launch of the Strategic Plan for Business in Kildare heralds a new optimism in the County, and it is something about which I am personally very excited, and proud to be associated with.  The Chamber have worked hard with a lot of businesses all over the county, and together with our Local Authority, we have come together over the past five months to create a Strategic Plan for the Chamber. I look forward with enthusiasm to launching this plan in the next four weeks, and I feel it will further strengthen Kildare as the place of choice to live, work and play in Ireland.

The challenge for the Chamber and the wider business community over the forthcoming years will be to harness the energy of the many people who are willing and able to put their shoulders to the wheel and makes a positive difference to the economic life of Kildare, on which so many thousands of people rely for their livelihoods.

Now, more than ever, there is a need for people in business to be unified and to work together to ensure that enterprise and employment in the county survives, that the business sector regains its strength, and that ultimately we all return to growth.  With the recent re-branding of the old Naas Chamber to the North Kildare Chamber we are now in a stronger position to help assist business all over the County, not just in Naas. Again, there is a need for a unified approach, and certainly there is strength in numbers!

The Chamber will continue to campaign with the Local authorities and other Statutory agencies (and against them where needed!) on a wide range of local issues that affect businesses. Current issues include the cost of rates, water charges, energy, refuse charges, and other charges over which, to a large extent, the business community have no control.

During my term as president, I will endeavour to increase membership of our Chamber, further increase the training events/seminars/workshops and networking opportunities that we provide and engage with all key stakeholders in the county.  But I will also lobby extensively on issues that affect the wider business community.

For example, the live register figures announced today confirm the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 14.2%. This slight reduction in the headline figures masks the true level of unemployment which is under-reported through increased emigration, increased participation on state training initiatives and a significant rise in individuals remaining in education. The true picture in the jobs market is that well over half a million of our citizens are out of work. We need immediate and REAL action from our Government on the jobs front.

The recent Action Plan for Jobs sets out a broad strategy, but we now need to see the detail, and I hope it’s useful, because as I said earlier, business will not be in a position to create jobs unless the cost base of doing business in this country is reduced.
In the opening weeks of my presidency I am very keen to hear the views of members, non-members, stakeholders and anyone with an interest in how business develops in Kildare. It is our sector that has historically led this country out of recession, and I believe the opportunities are there, right now, and that we still have the drive and integrity to do it.

I’m really looking forward to engaging with companies, organisations and individuals in the months and years ahead and to working with people to make North Kildare a better place to do business, to grow employment and help the thousands of people who depend on the businesses in Kildare for the livelihoods of themselves and their families”, Eilis concluded.