Chamber submission to National Planning Framework


Ireland-2040Waterford Chamber has recently made a submission in respect of Ireland 2040 – Our Plan, the National Planning Framework guiding strategic planning and development over the next 20+ years. In framing our contribution, we considered our city's advantages & opportunities, recognising that few projects have more potential to influence the future for Waterford, the Region and indeed the Ireland of tomorrow.


We have had significant input from our Board of Directors and Members which has influenced the direction of our submission. 


 View submission

Chamber Expo the perfect opportunity for new business


Business Expo 2017 launch 3


With over 100 exhibitors, the Waterford Chamber Business Expo, sponsored by BMCI Insurance & Investments Ltd., takes place this Thursday, April 6th in Audi Waterford on the Cork Road and is set to be Chamber’s biggest networking event of the year.


Following on from the success of last year’s event, it’s not surprising that the exhibition space is now completely full and Waterford Chamber President Laurent Borla is encouraging all business people to come along on the day and network anyway.


“This is a free event for everyone to attend, starting at 4.30pm. We have over 100 businesses on show, our biggest turnout yet, and we are also expecting a large turn out from the business community. It’s rare you get a chance to promote your business to so many under one roof so even if you don’t have a stand, pop in and generate those all important sales leads anyway. ‘The Ultimate Business After Hours’ is the perfect opportunity to hand out your business card, network, meet new people and support local enterprise.”


This year, the Expo will again have a number of interesting features – WLR’s Teresanne O’Reilly will be broadcasting live, cocktails are being served by The Reg, free tea/coffee and snacks will be provided by Musgrave Marketplace and there will be plenty of surprises, giveaways and spot prizes along the way!


For more information, see or call Lynda Lawton on 051 311130.

Irish economic and trade interests must be protected during Brexit negotiations


Following on from the UK’s decision to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (29th March 2017), Waterford Chamber calls on the Irish Government to continue a concerted, sustained campaign to highlight the unique Brexit issues for Ireland with both our European partners and the UK and to underline its commitment to protecting Irish trade, our border economy and ensuring that Ireland remains competitive.


Commenting on Prime Minister May’s announcement, Nick Donnelly, Waterford Chamber CEO said, “While we continue to regret the UK decision to leave the European Union and recent statements by the UK Government in relation to leaving the Single Market and Customs Union, it is important that the process to enable negotiations to begin has been initiated. We call on all parties in the negotiations to work together to find a deal that will enable Ireland, the European Union and the UK to thrive, creating openness, growth and employment in pursuit of a better world.”


“We welcome the Irish Government’s continued affirmation that Ireland will remain within the heart of the EU. As the negotiations commence the Irish Government must continue to take a strong stand in protecting Irish economic interests, particularly our ability to compete, attract investment and maintain and develop open trading markets.


“Furthermore, given the unique history of the Irish border with Northern Ireland and the importance of free movement of goods and people throughout the island, we call on the Irish Government to strongly advocate on behalf of businesses operating on an all-island basis, in accordance with agreed pan-European policy, so as to ensure continued trade, growth, and prosperity for the all island economy.”

Frontline Project highlights business concerns along the border


Frontline Report 1


27th March 2017 – Currency, competitiveness and customs are just some of the concerns of businesses along the frontline according to a new report published this morning.


The Frontline Project is a collection of testimonies collected from businesses along the southern border. It was compiled by the Brexit Border Blog on behalf of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and Chambers Ireland.


Over the months of January and February this year, 35 on-the-record interviews were conducted with business leaders from the retail, hospitality, engineering, transport, agri-food, construction and ecological sectors along with those involved in local chambers of commerce and local enterprise offices. A small sample feature in this morning’s report while the rest will be serialised over the coming months on the Brexit Border Blog –


The main challenges to business highlighted by those interviewed were currency volatility, loss of competitiveness, potential introduction of customs and tariffs, access to markets post-Brexit, cross-border freedom of movement, uncertainty and a general lack of clear and reliable information.


Contributions included in this morning’s report come from:


  • Paddy Malone, Dundalk Chamber of Commerce
  • Thomas McEvoy, Louth Local Enterprise Office
  • Gabriel D’Arcy, LacPatrick
  • Tony Morgan, Lipton’s Discount Store
  • Billy Flynn, Flynn Furney Environmental Consultants
  • John Foy, SuperValu
  • Paul Quinn, Mastek
  • Barry Smith, Abcon
  • JJ O’Hara, Leitrim Tourism Network
  • Colm McGrath, President, Carrick-on-Shannon Chamber
  • Cecil Whiteside, Centra
  • Mary Harty, Sligo Chamber
  • Toni Forrester, Letterkenny Chamber
  • Michael Tunney, Donegal LEO


Speaking ahead of the launch, Director General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce John McGrane said: “The Frontline Project is an important piece of work that highlights the challenges being faced by businesses that now find themselves at the coalface as a result of Brexit. The open border has been hugely important for the development of business in this region with 30,000 people commuting across the 300 mile border every day for work.


“Latest figures show that £5.1 billion worth of goods were traded across the border in 2016. Business along the border stand to lose most should restrictions to trade and the movement of people come into force as a result of Brexit. The importance of maintaining an open border is crucial if this trade is to continue to grow as the stories gathered for this project clearly demonstrate.”


Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland said: “The Frontline project is a valuable report, giving a voice to businesses along the border, highlighting their concerns and the obstacles they are likely to face. Although uncertainty is prevalent, one thing is clear- the business community wants to prepare and must be supported in doing so.


“The consequences of Brexit are likely to be the greatest challenges our economy faces in the years to come. Irish Government must prioritise economic factors within our control such as maintaining our competitiveness, rapidly investing in our infrastructure and supporting our SMEs traders, particularly when it comes to diversification and accessing new markets.”


Fearghal McKinney from Brexit Border Blog said: “We were delighted to have played a role in helping to identify the information gap around the implications of Brexit. The next step is being able to identify mechanisms that will help fill that gap for those on the frontline who are particularly affected.”

Enhanced Credit Guarantee Scheme is good for small business


Waterford Chamber has today (21st March 2017) welcomed the announcement of the new Credit Guarantee Scheme 2017 by Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen TD.


Commenting on the new Scheme, Nick Donnelly, CEO Waterford Chamber said, “The announcement of the new and enhanced Credit Guarantee Scheme is good news for Irish business and will increase the vital support needed to access finance for SMEs.  The announcement of the new Scheme comes at a good time as accessing the finance needed to expand and plan for growth is more important than ever for Irish SMEs as they face the challenges of planning for Brexit, identifying and accessing new and alternative export markets and utilising a wider range of trade finance instruments appropriate for different markets.”


“The reforms to the Credit Guarantee Scheme will hopefully address access to finance issues facing many  small businesses  by extending the definition of loan agreements to cover invoice finance and overdrafts and will allow SMEs greater flexibility in borrowing; all measures to be welcomed.”

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Calendar of Events 2017



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