Small business takes root on Bank premises

Bank of Ireland brings small business into the Bank

Bank of Ireland is hosting its first Irish Farmers Market from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. today (Wednesday, 13 May 2009) in the forecourt of its flagship branch at College Green in Dublin 2. In excess of 20 small businesses are selling produce from Ireland and abroad. Highlights will include the first Irish strawberries of the season from Ray Clarke, a farmer from Co. Meath and an organic hog roast on a spit. The event is part of the Bank’s inaugural National Enterprise Week taking place this week, during which the Bank has organised over 120 events nationwide to assist Irish SMEs. The overall theme of the week is ‘Getting Business Moving’.

Other produce available includes organic fruit & vegetables, organic farmhouse cheeses, Craft Bakery products, cup cakes, organic juices, Japanese sushi, Lebanese falafel, Man of Aran fudge, french crepes, Irish lamb, homemade jams and mustards to name but a few. The market will also feature organic soap, organic seaweed cosmetics and homemade jewellery. On Thursday 14 May, the market will move to the forecourt of the Bank’s Head Office on Lower Baggot Street – from 10 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Damian Young, Head of Small Business, Bank of Ireland said: “Our Bank’s key objective for this week is ‘Getting Business Moving’ in Ireland. The Irish Farmers Markets encapsulates the essence of National Enterprise Week which includes fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship and encouraging businesses to network and explore new opportunities for SMEs in a challenging environment. Small businesses need to source new outlets for their goods and adapt their business to changes in the marketplace. It is important that businesses can seek relevant advice and support from all parts of the local community and Bank of Ireland wants to be instrumental in leading this drive.

“Bank of Ireland is very much open for business and our lending figures prove that. We continue to process more than 7,000 business lending applications every month, of which 80% are approved. We open over 400 new business accounts every week and have lent micro and small businesses €6.6m in start-up funding in the first three months of this year. We are committed to supporting the SME sector by providing loans and giving advice to viable businesses despite the economic downturn. SMEs are the backbone of the Irish economy and we acknowledge that now more than ever they need our support”.

According to Sean McArdle, Co-ordinator, Irish Farmers Markets: “This is the first time that we have ever held a market in the environs of a Bank in what is a really fantastic centre city location. Despite the downturn in the economy, we have never received such an influx of applications from people who wish to sell their produce through our network of markets. These include requests from people who have recently been made redundant and are using the opportunity to start their own business. It is an inexpensive way for small businesses to have instant access to a large number of established markets without having expensive set-up costs. The markets afford an excellent opportunity for small businesses to sell their products as the set up costs vary from €2,000 to €5,000. Consumers benefit by receiving fresh, high quality products and the opportunity to directly interact with the producer. These markets also embrace a sense of community spirit. Farmers markets are the birthplace of small businesses in Ireland”.

Contact: Anne Mathews, Media Relations Manager, Bank of Ireland
01 604 3836 / 087 246 0358.

Notes to Editor:

  • Bank of Ireland is hosting National Enterprise Week in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland. Over 120 events have been scheduled to take place at either a national or local level broadly designed around three key themes;
    • starting your business today,
    • managing your business in recessionary times and,
    • bringing your business to new/international markets.
  • The week will feature Bank of Ireland branches across the country hosting a series of business events which will include Business Advice open days, Enterprise evenings, Business networking events, Business Breakfasts and Business showcase/expo events. Speakers will include Bank personnel, local partners (County/City Enterprise Boards, local Chambers of Commerce, Enterprise Europe Network and local business networks) local business service providers (accountants, solicitors) and successful local entrepreneurs.
  • The initiative is being held in support of first European SME Week, taking place from 6 to 14 May 2009, which is a campaign to promote entrepreneurship across Europe and to inform entrepreneurs about support available for them at European, national and local level. The event is supported by a national and local advertising campaign.
  • For more information on the events being held during Bank of Ireland’s National Enterprise Week, log onto contact your local branch.