Bank of Ireland hosts ‘Show your Business’ Week for SMEs in its branches nationwide
Bank of Ireland today (Wednesday 7 October 2009) announced that it is hosting a ‘Show your Business’ week throughout its 277 retail branches across the country from next Monday 12 to Friday 16 October 2009.
- Over 1,050 SMEs to exhibit in bank branches
- Reinforcing the Bank’s ‘Open for Business’ commitment to viable SMEs
Bank of Ireland today (Wednesday 7 October 2009) announced that it is hosting a ‘Show your Business’ week throughout its 277 retail branches across the country from next Monday 12 to Friday 16 October 2009. This week long event will see over 1,050 SMEs, both customers and non-customers of the Bank, showcase their products and services in the local branch, offering them potential new business opportunities. It will also offer small businesses a platform to network with other local entrepreneurs to exchange ideas with their peers and provide support to drive one another’s success. The initiative is being held as part of the Bank’s ongoing commitment to SMEs, recognising their importance in the Irish economy, which includes organising events that are relevant and beneficial to small businesses. It also reinforces the Bank’s ‘open for business’ agenda and its ongoing commitment to supporting viable small businesses.
Exhibitors will have the opportunity to bring along their own exhibition stand or take a table, set up their laptop, bring along some samples, whatever is required to make the most of their display in the local branch. There will be in excess of 1,050 small and medium sized businesses showcasing in branches throughout the country.
According to Damian Young, Head of Small Business, Bank of Ireland: “The concept behind ‘Show your Business’ week is that small businesses can display their wares at the local branch and interact with a wide audience in their local area. It also promotes the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst local communities, the birthplace of SMEs. There is a perception that we are not lending to small businesses. This is simply not true. We are actively supporting and will continue to support viable businesses. It remains one of our key priorities.
“We acknowledge the challenging market conditions for small and micro businesses and the pressure that businesses are experiencing as a result. We have lent almost €1.5bn to SMEs, excluding property lending, in the past six months. We continue to approve four out of every five loan applications this year. In addition, the Bank has put in place a number of specialist funds to encourage economic activity in some key sectors at this time including: €250m Business Support Fund, €100m Developing Business Loan Fund and €100m Green Business Loan Fund.
“Traditionally, in a downturn, we see stronger, more innovative small businesses being established. We look for viability, flexibility and a good track record in a business when assessing lending applications along with a sound business plan and the ability to repay. Our experience is that there are opportunities to be sought in the current downturn. Businesses should be innovative in how they deliver their products and services to their customer”.
Lr Baggot Street & College Green Branches bring businesses onto their fourcourts
Whilst the majority of SMEs exhibiting will have the opportunity to showcase their products and services, two of the larger Dublin branches at 2 College Green and Lower Baggot Street are hosting themed days where the SMEs will be out on the forecourts selling to the public.
2 College Green, Dublin 2
Monday’s SMEs feature around the theme of ‘Circle of Life’, a series of exhibitors who feature products from babyhood to retirement. Tuesday is an art exhibition day featuring work from the recently opened Powerscourt Gallery and Merrion Art. Featured artists will include Alison Britton who specialises in the ancient art of Batik, Ayelet Lalor, a figurative artist, principally working in bronze, clay and new media, with a prevailing interest in the human figure and Frank Kiely, an Irish-born London based artist to name a few. Wednesday features a number of businesses from Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, Thursday’s theme is ‘Health is Wealth’ and Friday will see an eclectic mix of retailers from Temple Bar.
Baggot Street branch will feature SMEs on the fourcourt on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week. It will showcase a diverse selection of SMEs including WoodenToys.ie. Jodie & Melanie Dillon run this small family-run business specialising in the sale of classic wooden toys. Their speciality toys are wooden train sets and accessories which have been chosen based on their quality. Fairly Traded Clothing will also exhibit some of their range. The company sells ethical and fair trading children’s clothing on its website, Fairlytraded.ie, and in local markets.
James’ Street branch will be connected to the Digital Hub TV for the week. This will involve the installation of a plinth with screen & headphones in the branch allowing customers to access information about the companies located in the Digital Hub and showcase the learning initiatives taking place there. Videos being shown will include interviews with the CROs of Hub companies, videos about world cyber games and dare2bedrinkaware.ie, a digital film competition for third-level students.
For more information on the events being held during Bank of Ireland’s ‘Show your Business’ Week contact your local branch.
Bank of Ireland
(01) 604 3836 / 087 246 0358
Note to Editors – Bank of Ireland – Open for business to viable SMEs
Bank of Ireland has 800 dedicated business bankers in its 277 branches who are dedicated to supporting well managed, viable businesses. The Bank has lent over €1.5bn to SMEs in the first six months of this year. It has launched a number of business and environmental funds in the past year, and over €400m from these remains available for lending to SMEs.
The Bank has supported 1,500 start-up businesses to date this year and has opened over 15,000 new current accounts. Some 6,000 credit applications are process each month, of which almost 80% are approved.
The SME sector remains a key priority for Bank of Ireland and the Bank will continue to focus on providing support, advice and access to networking to build SME capabilities whilst continuing to provide the much needed working capital and investment capital to viable businesses.