BY JACKIE KEOGH
TO celebrate National Enterprise Week, the Bank of Ireland in Clonakilty launched a unique event in their branch last week.
The bank invited established and start-up businesses that produce or sell the best local produce, to exhibit in their branch, in a ‘Taste of Clonakilty’ event for customers and friends.
The support and take-up for this open house event last week was fantastic, with 34 exhibitors from artisan producers to many local restaurants and hotels, all taking up the offer to showcase some of the best quality food produced locally.
There was also a stand promoting The Southern Star’s July edition of West Fork, a popular food and drinks magazine that is distributed with the newspaper and to numerous tourism in the region.
The Mayor of County Cork, Alan Coleman, was very complimentary about the celebratory style of the event, having mingled with all the exhibitors and Clonakilty Mayor, Colette Twomey, did the official opening.
Speaking on behalf of the exhibitors, Avril Allshire Howe said: ‘The opportunity provided by Bank of Ireland, Clonakilty, for food producers – be they selling locally, nationally or internationally – and food providers, to set up alongside each other and showcase what they all do, is fantastic.
‘I am very proud of what we produce in West Cork. We have the environment and the creative people who make amazing products. This is a fabulous chance for each and every one of us to learn a little more about each other.
‘So, when I’m asked to recommend somewhere for a cup of coffee, or accommodation, I am obviously going to recommend the people and the places I know. That’s what everyone in West Cork should be doing.’
Geraldine Galvin, the manager of Bank of Ireland, outlined the many innovative supports for businesses provided by the bank. “Thinkbusiness.ie” is a new business-planning portal with many helpful tools, guides and information needed to run and grow a business.
Geraldine also mentioned that Bank of Ireland would be sponsoring the Start Up Gathering in October. ‘Plans are ongoing to make Ireland a global hub for start-ups,’ she said.
Some serious networking was conducted at last Thursday night’s event, many contact details were exchanged, and on the night contracts were actually completed. So, following on from the success of this event, watch out for the next Bank of Ireland Enterprise Week.