Mayo-based companies Eachtraí Uisce Teo and Portwest were two of a number of companies acknowledged for their contribution to enterprise and innovation across the island of Ireland. They were awarded Business Ambassador status by InterTradeIreland at a special event held in the Mansion House in Dublin. The event was hosted by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation, Richard Bruton.
Portwest, based in Westport, is a world leader in the design and manufacture of stylish comfortable, high quality work wear. Based in Belmullet, Uisce specialises in the provision of water sport skills courses and Irish language courses to students in primary and post primary schools. Speaking at the event, Ciaran O’Murchú, the managing director of Uisce, said: “InterTradeIreland support for Uisce has led to significant up-skilling of staff, an increase of turnover and new jobs in our company. Being selected as an InterTradeIreland Business Ambassador is very significant for us as it is recognition and acknowledgement our commitment within Uisce to continual improvement, innovation, and growth in our sector.”
Speaking following the event, Margaret Hearty, acting CEO, InterTradeIreland, said: “We have supported businesses from a diverse range of sectors right across Ireland and we are extremely proud of their achievements. These firms represent many of Ireland’s most resilient and ambitious SMEs that are a testament of what can be achieved through enterprise and innovation. It is important that we recognise their success which we hope in turn will inspire other businesses to seek the support needed to develop and take their business to the next level.” She added: “While the value of cross-border trade has not been immune to the recession, we are encouraged by the recent upturn. The cross border market is an important export market for many first time exporters with one in five companies from Ireland trading in the Northern market – generating nearly €1.2 billion in 2012 in cross-border trade of manufactured goods alone. These companies show what can be achieved through North-South collaboration and business development.”
InterTradeIreland, the cross-border body that provides SMEs with funding, information, advice, and support has greatly helped small businesses to identify and develop trade and business opportunities across the island.