T: 0870682605 E:info@longfordchamber.ie

Fintan McGill
Chamber AGM Notice 
Longford Chamber of Commerce & Industry give notice of the 2015 Annual General Meeting for July 14th at 7.30pm in The Longford Arms Hotel.
SMEs and Burdensome Regulations Chambers Ireland, in partnership with Eurochambres, is taking part in a project known as the “Burden Tracker”, which aims to indentify pieces of legislation that are burdensome for SMEs and subsequently alert policy makers to their negative impact. As part of this process, Chambers Ireland aims to identify 3-4 pieces of EU legislation that are problematic for companies (e.g. legal uncertainty, excessive bureaucracy, unnec- essary regulatory burden, etc) and campaign for an evaluation of the EU legislation national and European level. Examples of legislation that can prove unnecessarily burdensome on SMEs include the Late Payment Directive, the Package Travel Directive, REACH etc. Chamber Ireland would welcome input from the Irish Chamber Network and their members in identifying pieces of legisla- tion that are overly burdensome on SMEs. For more information, please contact info@longfordchamber.ie

Optomise Fund 2015
IEDR, the Irish Domain Registry who administer and manage all .ie domain addresses, is once again running its Optimise Fund this year. The Fund has been setup to help Irish Small and Medium
Enterprises (SMEs) and Micro Enterprises to improve their online presence and increase their use of e-commerce. Recent research by IEDR has found that while 63% of Irish SMEs and Micro-Enterprises
have a website, 91% of these are unable to process online sales, and 54% are not setup to be viewed properly on mobile, and are thus not fully utilising the internet to drive growth in their business. The Optimise Fund works with business own- ers to plan, develop and implement significant web enhancements and e-commerce capa- bilities to their existing websites. Any SME or Micro-Enterprises can apply for their share of this year’s Fund, valued at €150,000, by filling out a short entry form on http://www.iedr.ie/optimise by 15 May 2015. This deadline is expected to be extended and the latest information will be on the website.
Security Text Alert
Chambers Text Alert has proved to be very helpful to Retailers’ and Gardai alike. Those al- ready signed up will receive invoices for renewal. If you are not signed up contact: info@longfordchamber.ie or 087-0682605. Annual fee – €20
St. Mel’s Cathedral Public Choice Award.

Cllr Seamus Butler has congratulated St. Mel’s on its latest achievement which saw it receive the Irish Architecture public choice award as part of 36 projects short listed for the RIAI (Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland).Now in its 8th year, the popular Public Choice Award gives members of the public the opportunity to have their say by voting for their favourite short listed project, which has the honour of
being named Ireland’s favourite building 2015.“As a member of the St. Mel’s Restoration committee for the past five years and someone who has witnessed the long journey from the catastrophic fire
on Christmas Day 2009 to the reopening of the Cathedral last year, this is a momentous and proud time for the people of Longford” said Cllr Butler this week. “It is a credit to the hard work of all those involved in the intricate work carried out by all those who have transformed the building into the first class Cathedral it is at this time,” concluded Cllr Butler. Also honoured for his involvement in this project was Ronan Moore Gem/Purcell Construction Manager, who received the top award for his management of the restoration and rebuild of the iconic St Mel’s Cathedral while two prestigious awards were captured
at the CMG Irish Building and Design Awards earlier this year, with the restoration of the Cathedral, under Fitzgerald, Kavanagh & Partners named as Interior Architectural Project of the Year.Two prestigious awards were captured at the CMG Irish Building and Design Awards on April 24, with the restoration of the building, under Fitzgerald, Kavanagh & Partners named as Interior Arch.Project St. Mel’s also saw off stiff competition from projects including the Rosie Hackett Bridge in Dublin and the Tullamore Distillery, to secure yet another public vote and claim the prestigious title.More than 100,000 people have visited St Mel’s since it re-opened last December.

Longford Summer Festival –
Thousands of people passed through the Barracks gates over the weekend to enjoy the entertainment both during the day and nigh-time. Over 100 stalls lined the perimeter of the Barracks with a central courtyard with picnic tables and food stalls.A separate area for the kids had bouncy castles and train rides. Smiles all around. The town was buzzing all weekend.

Purple Flag
At a recent Chamber Council meeting it was decided to apply for the Purple Flag status. It is what a blue flag is to beaches. Guaranteeing the evening and night-time excellence award Purple Flag came to Ireland in 2013 and has grown to now 10 accredited towns and cities with a further 4 applying at present including Cork city and Carrick-on-Shannon. Towns like Bray and Ennis have seen a marked improvement in Anti-Social behaviour and footfall since achieving Purple Flag status. Chamber is currently meeting with all of the Stakeholders (The Gardai, Municipal & County Councils, Publicans, Restaurateurs, Taxi Drivers and any business which is open at night time) to get a team together to push the initiative. If you would like to be involved contact Lisa Brady at info@longfordchamber.ie

St. Mel’s Brewing Company Profile
Beer is our passion- excerpt from an Interview with longfordlocal.com, with thanks to John Walsh.

Who owns the business, and what are your backgrounds?
Business owners are myself and Eoin Tynan. I am from Longford Town and Eoin is from Ardagh. We met in college in Maynooth. I was studying biotechnology at the time with a view to breaking into the brewing industry here, which was very difficult to do. I managed to get a work placement in Dublin Brewing Company (since closed). From there I went to Edinburgh to study a master’s in Brewing and Distilling and when I got back got a job at Carlow Brewing Company. I was Head Brewer there for 7 years where we went from a company of 3 people to a company of 20. I also got the opportunity to build a brewery from scratch while I was there. In the meantime Eoin was working as an archaeologist. Then he went to Smurfit business school to do a master’s in business management and then he went to work for some investment companies in Dublin. After his wedding we discussed the idea further, did some due diligence and came up with a business plan. We got a lot of financial support from the local Leader Company, Longford Community Resources ltd and the local enterprise office has been a huge support too. Also some family and friends chipped in some vital capital and away we went. A special mention should also go to Eoins uncle, Eamon Tynan who cheerfully allowed to us to wreck his garage as we came up with recipes for the start up date.
He had been home-brewing himself for about 40 years and launched himself enthusiastically into the project, he still helps out with sales and packaging operations.

Does the business employ many staff at present?
Currently myself and Eoin are full time at the brewery and we are about to hire an intern on Jobs reach with a view to making him permanent.

Why did you set up your business in Longford?
The answer to that is very simple, it’s where we come from and there was a gap in the market. A major consideration for any business is the support available from local agencies. My experience is that Longford punches above its weight when it comes to local agencies getting behind a business that has potential, the difficulty faced will always be in attracting those businesses here in the first place.

What is Longford like as a place to base your business?
Longford gets a bad press nationally, completely undeservedly. No other craft brewery in the country has received the local backing and support we have and this enterprise would never have gotten off the ground without that. Geographically it is a great place to do business from with easy access to all parts of the island. Other local businesses, customers and suppliers, will do what they can to help you along. And the people are sound.
If you could start from scratch again, what if anything would you do differently?
I was lucky enough to make most of my mistakes on somebody else’s payroll but there are certain things around the design of the plant, the fixtures we put in to the building etc that with hindsight we could have done differently or better. I would also have doubled the required start up capital and doubled the expected start up time but then everyone says that and no one ever takes it on board. They are doing what
they love, and they are succeeding. There’s a lesson there for us all.

See more at longfordlocal.com
Cycle Against Suicide
Chamber would like to thank all of those who made the Cyclists Homestays such a great experience. We got beds for 320 cyclists all around the County. Between the hotels and B&B’s we put up all of the 98 strong crew. So a big thanks for showing the community spirit and generosity that we have in this County. In particular we would like to thank, Cooney’s Hotel – Ballymahon, Longford Arms Hotel, Melview Lodge, Viewmount House, The Anvil, Holybrook House – Abbeyshrule, The Rustic Inn, Westhouse Café B & B, Mary Smyth – Granard, M.B. Coy’s and the 105 families that offered up their spare beds and hospitality for the night. We also got the overnight security for the college sponsored by Aidan & Angela Brady of Connect Recruitment and Paddy Hanlon – GALA. Remember the message

“It’s OK not to feel OK and its really OK to ask for help”. Let’s Break The Cycle!

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