Category Archives: Enterprise

Cllr McCarthy: Rates Deferral is of Huge Benefit to Businesses

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the continued deferral of rates payments for the first quarter of 2021 for businesses most impacted by Level 5 restrictions introduced on 6 January 2021.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “With financial support from central government Cork City Council will be deferring rates payments. The three-month waiver will apply to eligible businesses and will be applied to rates accounts in the form of a credit in lieu of rates. Support from government has also kept the Council’s operations going and it is essential that forms of financial support remain as businesses return in the months ahead. The Council’s income will be significantly down later this year as the full economic fallout from businesses that do not re-open is revealed”.

 Cork City Council Head of Finance, John Hallahan said, “Cork City Council is acutely aware of the challenges faced by businesses, large and small throughout the city and county. We will continue to work with our rate payers on a case by case basis and are asking businesses to contact us”. 

Cork City Council will issue Rate Bills for 2021 commencing in March 2021. Rate payers are advised that these bills will not include the recently announced Covid-19 rates waiver but that rate payers that are eligible for the waiver will get a statement showing their reduced liability in April/May 2021. For queries on the rates waiver scheme, contact rates@corkcity.ie or phone 021-4924484.

Cork City Local Enterprise Office offers a number of supports to businesses to address the challenges posed by Covid-19, such as mentoring, Microfinance Ireland COVID-19 Business Loan, businessadvice clinics, and trading online vouchers are available for businesses wishing to establish or enhance their online presence. For further queries on these supports, contact Cork City Local Enterprise Office on 021-4961828 or at info@leo.corkcity.ie

Kieran’s 2021 Ward Funds, Now Open

The call for Kieran’s 2021 Ward Fund is now OPEN.

  Cllr Kieran McCarthy is calling on any community groups based in the south east ward of Cork City, which includes areas such as Ballinlough, Ballintemple, Blackrock, Mahon, Douglas, Donnybrook, Maryborough, Rochestown, Mount Oval and Moneygourney with an interest in sharing in his 2020 ward funding to apply for his funds. A total of E.11,000 is available to community groups through Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s ward funds.

Application should be made via letter (Richmond Villa, Douglas Road) or email to Kieran at kieran_mccarthy@corkcity.ie by Friday 5 February 2021. This email should give the name of the organisation, contact name, contact address, contact email, contact telephone number, details of the organisation, and what will the ward grant will be used for?

 

Please Note:

– Ward funds will be prioritised to community groups based in the south east ward of Cork City who build community capacity, educate, build civic awareness and projects, which connect the young and old.

– Cllr McCarthy especially welcomes proposals where the funding will be used to run a community event (as per COVID guidelines) that benefits the wider community. In addition, he is seeking to fund projects that give people new skill sets. That could include anything from part funding of coaching training for sports projects to groups interested in bringing enterprise programmes to encourage entrepreneurship to the ward.

   – Cllr McCarthy is also particularly interested in funding community projects such as community environment projects such as tree planting, community concerts, and projects those that promote the rich history and environment within the south east ward.

– Cllr McCarthy publishes a list of his ward fund allocations each year on this page.

Cllr McCarthy Welcomes Douglas Village Parklet

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the positive news that Douglas Village is to receive its first parklet. The National Transport Authority (NTA) provided Cork City Council stimulus funding to implement a suite of initiatives to support mobility across the city.  This included the provision of 10 parklets to enhance greening of the city and to improve the attractiveness of the city to pedestrians.  Partners in businesses and communities were sought to maintain and manage the parklets. 

 Cllr McCarthy noted: “A public call was issued to communities and businesses and as a result the parklet initiative was significantly oversubscribed, which highlights the enthusiasm of residents, businesses and communities to see greening projects of this nature in the city.  In line with the objectives of the stimulus, prioritised areas in the city centre and villages / towns throughout the Council’s administrative area were chosen. 

 “An assessment of the suitability of areas was conducted to accommodate parklets, in terms of health and safety and access to essential services. Ten parklet sites with partners were chosen. All parklets must encourage a pollinator friendly approach. The Douglas Village Parklet will be managed by Douglas Tidy Towns who have an excellent track record in the roll out of community biodiversity programmes”. 

 “Cork City Council also engaged with Benchspace, a social enterprise, to deliver the timber-clad parklets.  The parklets, which occupy a traditional car space, will be installed over the next number of weeks/months as they are available from Benchspace”. 

 “The parklets are installations in the midst of busy streets with the focus on important issues such as the environment and biodiversity. They also offer people an alternative place to sit down for a few minutes and to reflect on their day or to meet friends”, concluded Cllr Kieran McCarthy. 

Kieran’s Comments, Cork City Council Budget Night, 16 November 2020

Thanks Lord Mayor,

There is a great depth across the activities of the various directorates of the Council. I think all our Directors bring a level of openness, listening and hard work ethic, which is warranted and very welcome in this challenging times.

Despite the cuts, there is still much work being pursued as well as many opportunities being mined.

COVID may have drawn us into a worrying time about finances but has clearly showed the resilience of this organisation.

The turning around of the various government financial stimuli by this organisation in very short time frames has been impressive. Certainly 12 months ago no one was predicting aspects such as the pedestrianisation of 17 streets and urban spaces and the strong ramping up of work on walking and cycling in our city.

We must not let that momentum on improving the urban fabric and environment slow down but keep pressure on, and keep the collaborations with traders and citizens effective and positive.

Perhaps the only certainly that goes with next year is that there will undoubtedly be further financial challenges– but it is important that we advance on preparing part 8s, whether it is for housing or roads, and keep sending such plans to either government or the NTA for approval respectively.

We have three 3 government cabinet Ministers from Cork – and I strongly think that we need a Microsoft Teams meeting with Minister McGrath in DPER to run over this Council’s ambitions in the short term.

What I learned recently from intervening with Minister Ryan on his Teams meeting with us is that we should not assume as a Council that all of the Cabinet are au fait with the Council’s work.

Where the meeting with Minister Ryan was very positive and very open, I was still not content to hear the narrative of bungling Cork in with Galway, Waterford and Limerick as just a mere regional city instead of the country’s second city.

I would like to see a meeting with Minister McGrath set up as soon as possible and that we liase with Minster Ryan early in the new year.

It is important opportunities are seized to realise the stepping stones on the way to achieving our ambitions.

Certainly, if you empower a local authority such as Cork City Council, it will deliver in spades.

Thanks.

Kieran’s Interview, Plans for Ireland’s Tallest Building Receive Permission, Morning Ireland, RTE Radio 1, 15 October 2020

15 October 2020, “Kieran McCarthy, Independent Cork City Councillor and Local Historian discusses plans for the tallest building in Ireland to be built in Cork City, and what it means for the redevelopment of the country’s second city”, Plans for Ireland’s Tallest Building Receive Permission, Morning Ireland, RTE Radio 1, https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/21850843

Cllr McCarthy: Crucial Role for Local Enterprise Office in Times Ahead

    Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the ‘one stop shop’ approach of the Cork City’s Local Enterprise Office (LEO), which is based in Cork City Hall and is linked to the work of Cork City Council. Cllr McCarthy noted: “The Local Enterprise Office network is evolving and stands prepared to help businesses especially SMEs to address the critical challenges presented by the COVID-19 virus pandemic. There are an array of financial and mentoring instruments to help SMEs during this very challenging time. Ninety-nine percent of businesses in Cork’s suburbs are SMEs and are crucial to their local communities they serve”.

   The COVID-19 Business Loan The COVID-19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland (MFI), in partnership with the LEO, is a Government-funded initiative to support small businesses through the current period of uncertainty.  It is designed for micro-enterprises that are having difficulty accessing bank finance and are impacted, or may be impacted negatively, by COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of 15% or more in turnover or profit.

   The LEO Business Continuity Voucher is designed for businesses across every sector that employ up to 50 people. The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The goal is to help business owners make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.

   The expanded Trading Online Voucher Scheme helps small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost their sales and reach new markets.  The Scheme is administered by the LEOS’s on behalf of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. There is up to €2,500 available through the Local enterprise Offices, with co-funding of 10% from the business. Training and further business supports are also provided.

   Cllr McCarthy also recommends the free mentoring services for SMEs. “Clients work with an experienced mentor at the Local Enterprise Office to identify solutions to areas of exposure within their business. With advice and guidance from their mentor, clients develop strategies that are more robust, which address issues and maximise potential opportunities around COVID-19 challenges. The website www.localenterprise.ie/corkcity contains many links to the above financial supports and to mentoring and training. In terms of mentoring I also wish to point out the work online of the Cork Chamber of Commerce who are offering some really helpful webinars as well for businesses responding to the crisis”.

Cllr McCarthy: Support Local businesses and Local Jobs In Douglas

 Press Release:

     Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has warmly welcomed the upcoming parking proposals for On Street Parking in Douglas Village in the lead-up to Christmas. The arrangements will only apply to the City Council controlled On Street parking spaces. A large number of parking spaces are controlled by private operators. Previously these operators were invited to participate in a joint initiative, but the offer was not accepted. The implementation of the initial parking promotion together with the lead-in Christmas proposal will impact on parking income from Douglas, approximately e80,000 to the end of 2019.

    Cllr McCarthy noted: “Since 9 September, after the devastating fire in the Douglas Shopping Centre, Cork City Council responded to local businesses and their call for help and provided one hour free parking in the On Street parking spaces. The promotion was continued as part of the Autumn Parking Promotion for the city that runs until 17 November 2019. Business remain active in their call for support measures. The temporary closure of the Douglas Shopping Centre Car Park has caused a knock-on effect to business in Douglas. Supporting local businesses and local jobs is never more apt for Douglas village in light of the September fire.

    The following Christmas parking arrangements in Douglas are to be applied to On Street parking spaces: Two hours free parking from Monday 11 December to Tuesday 31 December; no parking charges on the Saturdays in the run up to Christmas and just after, from Saturday 30 November to 28 December; no parking charges on Sundays, no parking charges on Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day. Normal parking arrangements will resume on 2 January 2020.

    As Cork City Council has done over the last number of years it will extend the operating hours of Paul Street Car Park, North Main Street and Black Ash Parka and Ride, as well as opening all the latter facilities on Sundays/ extending the Sunday opening hours as appropriate. A temporary Park & Ride will also operate from County Hall at the Weekends.