Companies supported by Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) recorded a net job increase of almost 3,000 jobs last year following a heavy loss the year before, according to their annual results published last Monday (17th January 2022).
LEO supported companies created 7,440 jobs in 2021, which was up more than a third from the 5,585 that were created in 2020.
The net jobs created by LEO supported companies in 2021 was 2,999. That figure compares with a net loss of 1,494 the year before.
The net jobs figures take into account companies that amalgamated, ceased trading and those that transferred on to Enterprise Ireland. In 2021 there were 131 transfers by LEO companies to Enterprise Ireland.
The figures show that the LEOs financially supported 7,158 small businesses in their portfolio across the country. These companies in turn employ 35,729 people. Some 85 per cent of those employed in LEO supported companies are outside the Dublin region.
The LEOs also provide substantial funded supports to thousands of other small businesses across the country with programmes such as the Trading Online Voucher, Lean for Micro and Green for Micro, along with training and mentoring.
Padraic McElwee, chair of the network of LEOs, said the results are “a testament to Ireland’s small business community”.
“When faced with adversity, they have adapted, pivoted, upskilled and did whatever it took to sustain themselves,” he said. “The figures show that companies have seen the opportunities in the challenging trading conditions they have faced.
“The LEOs across the country have gone above and beyond in their support of small businesses but there is renewed optimism.
“We are seeing new opportunities for Irish businesses here and as always with tough economic periods we see new ideas and companies emerge and flourish.”
Enterprise Ireland chief executive Leo Clancy said 2021 was “another very positive year for job creation in companies supported by the Local Enterprise Offices”.
Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar said: “Over 35,000 people employed in small businesses around the country have been helped in some way by our Local Enterprise Offices.
“They are at the heart of communities in every county, always on hand to provide advice, training or financial backing and have proved invaluable throughout the pandemic, during which I know a huge amount of people relied on their local office.
“Last year, businesses supported by LEOs created nearly 3,000 net new jobs, which is remarkable given the year we just had. I’m really pleased to see that 85 per cent of these jobs were outside of Dublin.”
- PHOTO: Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar/ CREDIT: Dara Mac Donaill