Deputy Harris to host meeting today between Arklow Chamber of Commerce, Arklow Town Council & the Head of Regional Business Development in the IDA
Posted May 2nd, 2013
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris will today (Thursday) facilitate a meeting between Arklow business and political representatives with a senior representative of the IDA to discuss what strategy is in place and what measures need to be put in place to promote Arklow as a location for investment and job creation.
Deputy Harris has arranged for the IDA Head of Regional Business Development to visit Arklow today. The Wicklow TD’s efforts follow on from a recent meeting he had with the IDA Chief in Bray and a meeting with IDA representatives about the IDA lands in Greystones.
Speaking on this issue, Deputy Harris said, “ I am determined to do everything I can to promote County Wicklow as a location for business investment and job creation. We are much more than just a commuter county. We have a skilled labour force, good infrastructure and soon we will have a very significant upgrade to the N11 road. We need to make sure that the IDA as the State agency charged with bringing investment to our country is actively marketing County Wicklow.”
“I will be doing all I can to promote all our towns for investment and have recently met with the IDA in relation to both Bray and Greystones. We have seen progress in both towns in terms of IDA activity and job creation in recent months. There is a lot more to do. Specifically in relation to Arklow, there is an excellent Chamber of Commerce in place and active public representatives in the town determined to do all they can to promote Arklow. We need the IDA to step up to the plate, hear from local stakeholders on their views and for the IDA to show their plan for promoting Arklow as a location for investment which will help bring jobs to the town,” stated Deputy Harris.
“I hope and expect that today’s meeting will be a positive step in these efforts,” concluded Deputy Harris.
Posted March 7th, 2013
Fine Gael TD for Wicklow, Simon Harris, has today (Thursday) urged the IDA and the Minister for Enterprise, Richard Bruton TD, to explore every avenue available to find a buyer for Merck in Rathdrum to protect the 280 people employed there.
“Merck pharmaceuticals today announced that it is closing its plant in Rathdrum which is a sad day for everyone who works there. The company has said that while it will be moving its Rathdrum manufacturing activities to its plants in Thurles and Singapore, no redundancies will take place until the end of 2014.
“I am encouraging the IDA and Minister Bruton to explore every avenue and use every State agency available to them to find a buyer for Merck and protect the 280 people employed. We have a window of time available to us and it is important that we get our heads together and come with a solution to protect the workers.
“Ireland is renowned for attracting large pharmaceutical companies to this country due to the skilled labour force we have to offer. There is a lot of activity happening in this sector and I hope that a solution for all those involved can be found as soon as possible.”
Posted February 22nd, 2013
This week in the Dáil, Wicklow TD, Simon Harris asked that measures be introduced to assist Wicklow sub-contractors.
Deputy Harris raised the matter with the Taoiseach in the Dáil Chamber.
“I have been contacted by many sub-contractors in our county who are desperately in need of legal supports to ensure that their entitlement to pay for work done is protected. The plight of sub-contractors has been highlighted for some time and excellent work has been undertaken on this issue by individuals like Senator Feargal Quinn,” stated Deputy Harris.
“I have been assured by the Taoiseach that legislation to provide protection and certainty for sub-contractors will be back in the Dáil Chamber in March. I look forward to this next step in turning the Construction Contracts Bill into law and I will continue to do all I can to ensure we have the most robust legislation possible,” concluded Deputy Harris.
Posted January 10th, 2013
Fine Gael TD for Wicklow, Simon Harris, has today (Thursday) said that Ireland’s young students are sending out a very powerful message to potential investors about the amazing talent we have in this country. Deputy Harris was speaking after a visit to the Young Scientists and Technology Exhibition in the RDS.
“The Young Scientists Exhibition is always a really inspiring and encouraging event for so many schools up and down county Wicklow, where they have the opportunity to display the talent and ingenuity of their students. I saw so many clever, creative, and innovative projects across the range of sciences on display.
“In recent years, the Young Scientists Exhibition has acted as a showcase for potential investors in this country to be become aware of the raw talent that we have coming up through our schools in the areas of science and technology. I met students from Arklow Community College, Avondale Community College, Cólaiste Bhríde, Cólaiste Rithín, Dominican College Wicklow, Gael Scoil Cólaiste Na Mara, Scoil Chonglais, St Gerard’s and St. Thomas Community College all of whom had different projects and ideas. This highlights the degree of innovative thinking and imagination that exists in young people from Wicklow.
“The so-called ‘smart economy’, and, can often sound like a vague concept or even a buzz word, but at this exhibition we get to see the smart economy personified.
“Three hundred and sixty two schools are taking part in this year’s exhibition. As the Irish economy continues its journey to recovery, any of the 45,000 people that visit this exhibition this week will be left in no doubt as to the scope of talented youngsters we have in Wicklow schools. Our smart economy is right on track.”
Posted September 25th, 2012
Eircom roll out of Fibre Broadband in Bray in coming months with construction set to be completed in December 2012.
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris, has today welcomed the announcement by Eircom of plans to roll out Fibre Broadband to Bray.
‘This is very welcome news and is a real boost to the prospects of Bray developing additional IT focused businesses. The provision of Fibre Broadband will allow existing Bray businesses to engage fully with online sales and distribution facilities. This is a real opportunity for indigenous Wicklow businesses to show that they are world beaters.’
‘I have been seeking new facilities for local businesses as well as trying to raise awareness of what the online marketplace can mean for small but high quality businesses.’
‘We have nothing to fear from the online marketplace and I would encourage all Wicklow business to examine the opportunities that may exist for them in such an environment.’
‘In an era where small businesses can feel pushed or bullied by large chains or multinational businesses these are the opportunities that can transform the fortunes of Wicklow businesses.’
‘I am delighted that this opportunity is in the pipeline with scheduled construction to be completed in December 2012.’ Concluded Deputy Harris.
Posted September 18th, 2012
Wicklow Fine Gael TD emphasises the efforts that need to be made to encourage new Irish Businesses.
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris attended the Getting Irish Business Online event at Tinakilly Country House. The event supported by Google, Blacknight Solutions, An Post and County and City Enterprise Boards aims to provide support for fledgling businesses in developing an online presence that can open up new markets and allow them to grow and develop.
Deputy Harris commented that ‘In these difficult times with so many things happening in the business world online, it is really important that Wicklow business have a good presence online and Wicklow Businesses are doing very well on this.’
‘I’ve been told by Getting Irish Business Online that more than 11,000 businesses have been helped by this initiative. This is massively beneficial for all business and has very low cost by providing a free website setup as well as other resources to promoting your business online.’
‘This initiative is open to all types of business and the people at the events will give good advice on what things your business could benefit from.’
‘I would encourage any business owner or entrepreneur to go to www.gettingbusinessonline.ie for more information on what help is available in setting up your business online.’
Posted September 14th, 2012
Wicklow TD raises need to reform commercial rates & development levies at FG Think-In and the need to help Wicklow businesses get online
Fine Gael Wicklow TD, Simon Harris has raised the need for the Government to reform commercial rates for businesses and the system of development levies when speaking at the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party Think-In this week at a session on jobs and the economy.
Deputy Harris said, “As the Government sets about preparing its 2013 Action Plan for Jobs, I believe it is really important that two issues affecting Wicklow businesses and also halting the potential for expansion and creation of new businesses and new jobs in Wicklow are addressed. These two issues being: 1) the system of commercial rates in place in Wicklow and right throughout the country and 2) the huge financial obstacle which development levies can pose to new businesses being created and new jobs being created in Wicklow.
“I was pleased to have the opportunity to raise these issues with the Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton TD at the Fine Gael ‘Think-In’ and I will be further pursuing these issues in the Dáil during the forthcoming term,” stated Deputy Harris.
“I would also like to draw the attention of Wicklow businesses to two other developments which may be of use and interest. Firstly, this week the Government has produced a new guide which will provide small businesses with advice and guidance on surviving in a very tough trading environment. ‘Managing Out of the Crisis’ aims to give help and advice to local businesses in difficulty. Businesses across Wicklow are going through a difficult period; for the last few years conditions have remained very challenging. The Government is focussed on helping small businesses survive these conditions and the provision of this guide is a welcome measure’.
‘Job retention must remain a major focus and the provision of information to small businesses that helps them address difficulties helps to reduce some of the pressure and strain. The guide can be viewed on the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation’s website, and it will also be available to pick up in City and County Enterprise Board offices, banks and in other relevant business organisations.’
‘Secondly, I am pleased that an event will be taking place on Monday, 17th September in County Wicklow organised by the group ‘Getting Irish Business Online’ This may help Wicklow businesses identify additional opportunities and help business to grow in a different type of market by establishing or improving their online presence. I am excited about attending this event and doing all I can to help get Wicklow businesses online,” concluded Deputy Harris.
Posted September 7th, 2012
Wicklow Fine Gael TD Simon Harris has today called on the Revenue Commissioners to work to ensure that jobs are retained wherever possible. The call follows discussions with Wicklow based businesses who expressed concern about the retention of indigenous Irish business.
‘Having spoken to many Wicklow based businesses about their concerns surrounding job retention and the maintenance of indigenous businesses, it is clear that we need new procedures to ensure that all steps are taken to prevent job losses at this time. These procedures should direct the Revenue to play an active part in ensuring job retention wherever possible.’
‘The IDA and other development groups make massive efforts to bring companies into Ireland and to create jobs, it is crucial that we remember that job retention is a core part of the jobs plan.’
‘I will be speaking to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to emphasise the importance of job retention for the Country and to address the concerns of Wicklow employers and employees in ensuring that indigenous Wicklow businesses are given fair treatment in the current climate.’ concluded Deputy Harris
Posted July 13th, 2012
5,000 jobs have been created by IDA firms in the first six months of this year – Wicklow needs to get serious about marketing itself as a location for investment
Fine Gael Wicklow TD, Simon Harris, has welcomed figures showing 5,000 new jobs were announced by IDA client companies in the first six months of this year. However Deputy Harris said that we need to see all agencies in Wicklow now band together to produce a strategy to market Wicklow for investments in terms of jobs.
Deputy Harris said, “There were very positive signs of confidence returning to the Irish market in 2011, with the highest net increase in jobs (6,000) since 2002. Nevertheless, I am concerned that jobs tend to be focused in a few major centres. We must ensure local communities are also able to reap the benefit of investment. I raised this matter directly with the Minster for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation this week. There is no an IDA target in place to ensure that 50% of IDA investments are located outside of Dublin and Cork. I believe this gives Wicklow a good, fighting chance of attracting jobs to our county.”
“The need to drive investment to the IDA sites across Wicklow is an issue I have raised on many occasions in the Dail and with the IDA directly. As a county we cannot be satisfied with being viewed as a ‘dormitory country’ – we need to showcase all we have to offer foreign investors in terms of a skilled workforce, close proximity to Dublin, IDA sites, good infrastructure, etc. It is absolutely essential that all agencies in Wicklow – including our local authorities – come together and produce a strategy to work with the IDA and with Government to attract more investment into Wicklow. As a TD for the county, I am committed to working with every interested individual and agency on this matter and I have written to the IDA asking that they commence meetings with such agencies as a priority,” concluded Deputy Harris.
Posted June 28th, 2012
Latest Enterprise Ireland Figures show record levels of exports in 2011
Fine Gael Wicklow TD, Simon Harris, has said the strong performance of Irish exports in 2011 point to new opportunities for Wicklow entrepreneurs. “The latest figures show the Enterprise Ireland client companies were worth €15.2billion to the Irish economy in 2011. This exceeds the pre-recession record levels of 2008 and is the highest ever annual export gain achieved by Enterprise Ireland client companies.”
Deputy Harris said, “This Government is absolutely committed to doing everything it can to support Irish businesses, and it is clear that despite the difficult economic circumstances across the Eurozone, this is beginning to make an impact.”
“Enterprise Ireland is just one of the supports available to indigenous Irish businesses. The Microfinance Loan Fund Bill is currently before the Dáil, and will introduce an important source of credit for businesses of not more than 10 employees who have been refused a loan for the bank. Meanwhile, the Temporary Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme will facilitate up to €150 million of additional lending to eligible SMEs per annum.”
“It is clear there are opportunities now for entrepreneurs with good ideas and strong business plans to make their mark. Small local enterprises can have a significant event on the economy of local communities. I have put together a booklet outlining the various schemes and grants available to indigenous companies and I would encourage any budding Wicklow entrepreneurs or SMEs looking to expand and grow their business to contact me for a copy.”