The inaugural County Tipperary Business Networking Dinner event was held in the Cashel Palace Hotel, last Thursday night.
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Tom Hayes TD was delighted to address this first gathering of the group.
Speaking at the event, organised by the Tipperary Micro Business Association, the Minister congratulated the businesses for what has been a difficult year and said that he was hopeful that things were improving within the economy and that the Government was confident that the worst is now over.
Minister Hayes said: â€œThis event is so important for the business community in Tipperary as it gives you all an opportunity to meet, to share ideas and also to share problems and concerns with like minded individuals. There is no denying that it has been a tough few years for businesses, with increased rates, rents and operating costs, but I want to assure you that the Government is committed to supporting you and we believe that small business is the future for long term employment in this country and we must continue to promote and develop small business in Tipperary and across the country.
â€œIreland has an exceptional reputation globally when it comes to business, in fact just last week, we came top of a global survey on the best countries to do business with. We must continue to build on that reputation. I believe that we are now coming to the end of a very difficult time for business, this is evident in the recent Live Register figures, which show that unemployment has fallen again in Tipperary by 8% in the last year, and last week saw the number of people signing on fall for the 17th month in a row. Thatâ€™s why this event is also very important, as people in the business community give hope and inspiration to each other, that things are getting better and the light at the end of the tunnel is now in sight.â€ He added: â€œI have every confidence that I will come back here before you all next year and the mood will be that of great confidence in what has been achieved in 2014 and that business is not only surviving, but thriving.