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Build Better Businesses, Spring Business Summit

‘Survival is not mandatory’ Energy Security is key theme of Westport Chamber’s Business Summit

Once again Westport Chamber of Commerce have their finger on the pulse of the challenges to local businesses recognising that energy security in particular is a pressing and urgent development challenge. Their Spring Business Summit entitled “Build Better Businesses” has three distinct themes each aimed at supporting business sustainability and resilience: Business & Infrastructure, Sustainable Hospitality and Energy Security – the Engine for Growth. Expert speakers on these themes comprise the morning session which is followed by individual 1:1 energy clinics. Booking is on Eventbrite and non-members of Westport Chamber are welcome.

“In planning the event we’ve really focused on addressing issues Westport businesses are currently facing”, said Graham Byrne of Krēm Gelateria and Café, President of Westport Chamber of Commerce, “this summit aims to provide practical advice on sustainability and help businesses make the changes needed in the most appropriate way for them. Survival in business is not mandatory but we want to ensure that our local businesses have the best chance possible of not only surviving but thriving”.

Energy security is a hot topic at the moment and one which is causing a lot of confusion and misinformation. Keynote speaker Dr Ellen Diskin, Head of the National Network, Local Connections Programme at ESB Networks will give a practical overview of Energy Security, Business Planning and Participation.

Under the Business & Infrastructure theme, Sinéad Flynn, Portwest Sustainability Programme Manager will give one businesses perspective on building a sustainable business. She will be followed by a presentation by Laura Dixon from Mayo County Council’s Environment & Climate Change Department on the supports for decarbonising initiatives available from the council.

Westport is an established tourist destination and two speakers will address this theme. Aileen Deasy, Manager Enterprise Supports & Climate Action, Fáilte Ireland will discuss what is actually meant by ‘Sustainable Hospitality’ and whether Westport is well positioned to offer it to visitors. Donal Kearney of Lawler Sustainability takes Managing your Hospitality Infrastructure for Sustainability as his pertinent topic as it’s essential to have a climate breakdown overlay on any consideration of development.

The morning sessions take place in Westport Town Hall Theatre and Irish sign language interpreters will be present.

The afternoon 1:1 clinics, which are strictly limited and must be pre-booked, take place in the Leeson Enterprise Centre. These include a review of energy bills, discussion on specific business opportunities and signposting to appropriate supports.

In the afternoon SME Energy Clinics at the Leeson Enterprise Centre, Darren Madden of the Clew Bay Hotel will present his Clew Bay Hotel solar PV case study to provide context. Mel Gavin, Mel Gavin Coordinator of the ATU Contract Research Unit (Sligo), Mentor & Technical Adviser to the SEAI Sustainable Energy Communities Programme will review energy bills, discuss specific business opportunities and signpost to appropriate supports.

The individual business 1:1 clinics are strictly limited and timed slots must be pre-booked on Eventbrite.

Both morning and afternoon sessions can be prebooked on Eventbrite.

“Build Better Businesses” is presented in conjunction with Mayo County Council, Mayo LEO, Mayo North East Development Company (SICAP), South West Mayo Development Company (LEADER) and Destination Westport.

The following are the links to register on Eventbrite.

Build Better Businesses

In-Person at Westport Town Hall:

SME Energy Clinics

In-Person timed slots at Leeson Enterprise Centre:

Pictured: Dr Ellen Diskin, Head of the National Network, Local Connections Programme at ESB Networks

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