‘Economic patriots’ fight to keep business alive
Chamber leads the battle in rates row

Sian Moloughney

Sian Moloughney

‘Economic patriots’ are leading the way in the Clonmel business community, despite a year of “relentless hardships” for those trading in the town.

Speaking at Clonmel Chamber’s AGM, President Tina Mulhearn, vowed that the Chamber will continue to fight to reduce the costs that are beyond the control of local businesses.

“This year has been hard and difficult for our members; business and individuals bear increasing costs across a range of fronts and it is our hope that the coming year will bring some respite from the relentless hardships that we all face on a daily basis,” she said addressing last week’s AGM.

“Despite this business climate, Clonmel Chamber has tried to make a real and tangible difference, we have tried to promote business in our town.”

Tina has just been returned as the Chamber president for a third year.

She reconfirmed the business organisation’s commitment to fighting for a cut in rates. “Clonmel Chamber has worked and continues to work to create opportunities and to fight to reduce the costs that are beyond your control. While we weren’t successful in reducing the rates this year, we will continue to strongly drive this issue for you and your business at every level in local and national Government. This is an issue that we will continue with and with your ongoing support we hope to achieve a realistic solution to this frustrating cost.”

The Chamber President said that in line with “the harsh reality” that members are experiencing the Chamber has also looked at and cut its costs and reduced overheads,

She also spoke about the Chamber’s enterprise competition, the winner of which was announced at the AGM, and praised the Chamber members who donated their time and resources to the winner’s prize.

“It has been such actions and initiatives that has resulted in other Chambers and organisations embracing and rolling these out, and we will continue to help other Chambers to deliver the same results. Indeed our initiatives were recognised recently when the Chamber won the Munster final of the Ulster Bank Business Achiever Awards in the Social Entrepreneur section,” she said.

Speaking about the success of campaigns like ‘Style Clonmel’ and the Chamber’s annual conference, the Chamber President said it is vitally important that a favourable view of Clonmel is maintained in the national press.

She said she will work to make the Chamber the authoritative voice of business in Clonmel and to that end we will continue to lead the charge on a range of issues from commercial rates, water charges and parking. It is these issues that are a constant headache and need to be reduced. The local authority must be made realise that the world of private enterprise is fraught with constant challenges to keep businesses open and they must play their part. They must cut their cloth according to our means and not their budgets. This would appear to a simple concept but it appears to be one that we are constantly fighting with limited success.”