Castlebar Chamber of Commerce is actively seeking to engage with more businesses in the town through the staging of a number of seminars, conventions and promotions all designed to pull the commercial sector in the town together.
Opening its most recent business networking event on Tuesday evening last in the Harlequin Hotel, vice president of Castlebar Chamber, Caroline Gordon, said this was the second open forum following the first very successful one held in Breaffy House Resort some weeks ago.
Chamber president Tom Canavan said the idea was simply to open up the discussion and involve people. “There are a lot of things that can be done once we all get engaged,” he said.
Castlebar town manager Seamus Granahan, who was the keynote speaker at the open forum, said the chamber played a crucial role in the town.
“In my view the chamber has a very important role to play and under the previous president Peter Glynn and current president Tom Canavan, it has been very proactive in coordinating businesses.
“It is very important for Castlebar that we get all the interests working together towards developing the town because it is hard enough to get projects and funding, but when we can go to agencies with money we are going to commit ourselves, and have the chamber also committed to delivering funds, they are much more willing to listen and match it with funding. It is very important therefore that the Chamber maintains its role in this regard because projects between business and the public can be difficult.”
Mr Granahan added that input from the chamber and individuals was always welcome and the town council also supported the chamber. He noted that at the moment there was €10,000 in the budget to develop a tourist office in Castlebar and €20,000 funding had been provided for Gnó Mhaigh Eo to work with the chamber and promote business, festivals and the Irish language. An additional €10,000 had been provided for the development of a heritage trail, bearing in mind the old ‘Races of Castlebar’ at the Barracks.
“We are also seeking support for the feasiblity study for the Knowledge Centre - which is very important to link in with education. Funding for these kinds of projects is moving more quickly than ever before - given the current climate - and we are not being shy in applying for them, so it is a busy time, as well as a very challenging one when everyone is fighting to stay alive and keep the dog from the door. We are very aware of this reality in the town council and the hope is that our target projects can help people in the town survive.”
Chamber president Tom Canavan congratulated the town manager and the council for their vision in harnessing all the funds they continue to “go after”.
“It is up to us all to get on the same page for a better town,” he concluded.