Local businesses learn to ‘survive and thrive’

BUSINESS people from the Omagh area where given a crash course in ‘surviving and thriving’ in the present economic climate during an event held in the Omagh Enterprise Centre last week.

Organised by Omagh and Fermanagh District Council, the ‘Survive and Thrive’ joint programme, which took place last Thursday evening (March 1), was supported by 23 different organisations from the private, financial, statutory and government sectors, who provided one to one advice and guidance to those in attendance.

Funded by the participating councils and the European Regional Development Fund, the joint initiative aims to help local businesses in the west create new jobs, safeguard existing jobs and to increase sales. Over 110 businesses across the Omagh and Fermanagh District Council areas have participated in the programme to date.

Attendees last Thursday were able to access information and support for exporting and cross border trading from InterTrade Ireland and Invest NI representatives.

Participants were also able to talk to staff from the Department of Agriculture and from ARC North West about rural grants, while younger entrepreneurs were met with representatives from the Princes Trust.

The South West College and NORIBIC showcased business support initiatives and unemployed persons were told of the potential to dip their toes in the world of business through the New Deal programme.


A spokesperson for the programmes said, “There was a very positive theme to the event and although 2012 will present more tough economic challenges, many local businesses have survived the recent harsh times and were looking forward to the future.”

Vice chairman of Omagh District Council, Cllr Ross Hussey, who attended the event, highlighted the importance of supporting local businesses in the current climate.

“Businesses continue to face difficult economic challenges and any event providing advice and guidance is to be warmly welcomed. I am delighted that Omagh District Council has supported this event and that the ‘Survive and Thrive’ programme is working on the ground with locally based businesses providing practical and relevant support.”

Workshops available during the evening proved a success according to the organisers, sparking many animated discussions about superfast broadband, financial pressures on businesses and whether Facebook is appropriate for every business.

One attendee noted, “The informal atmosphere tonight was welcoming and I was speaking to a great many people, all of whom can assist me in some way with my business.”

Source: ulsterherald.com