Council aims to create 7,000 jobs in nine years

Pictured in the Elk & Clipper, a chain of barbers set up by local serial entrepreneur Dwaine Smyth, are Lord Mayor Gareth Wilson and Paul Reid, Business Development Manager, from principal sponsor Ulster Bank.
Pictured in the Elk & Clipper, a chain of barbers set up by local serial entrepreneur Dwaine Smyth, are Lord Mayor Gareth Wilson and Paul Reid, Business Development Manager, from principal sponsor Ulster Bank.

The local council has set its ambition to create 7,000 new jobs in the borough over the next nine years.

Launching its Enterprise Week (November 13-18) Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council has urged businesses and entrepreneurs to sign up for a packed programme of events.

Under the theme of ‘Inspire, Innovate and Invest’ the week includes free events providing practical advice for both start-ups and established businesses.

With more than 8,000 businesses, the area is an increasingly important contributor to Northern Ireland’s economy accounting for 11% (£3.7bn) of its economic output, up from 9.4% in 2013, and is the most economically active area outside of Belfast.

The launch venue was the ‘Elk & Clipper’, a chain of 1920s-style barbers set up by local entrepreneur Dwaine Smyth, who also co-founded the Meat Cleaver butcher shop in Portadown.

Lord Mayor, Alderman Gareth Wilson, said: “Enterprise Week is about inspiring businesses and budding entrepreneurs.

“Forecasts by Ulster University suggest that a favourable economic climate over the next decade could help create 7,500 new jobs in the Borough and boost local GVA to £4.3bn.”

Dwaine Smyth, co-founder of the Elk & Clipper said: “Enterprise Week is a great opportunity to bring together the local business community, from multi-national companies to start-ups and business enablers, and take time to refocus on how to build successful businesses.”

For details and information on how to register visit https://abcenterpriseweektickets2017.eventbrite.co.uk The Global Entrepreneurship Week debate can be followed on Facebook and Twitter #GEW2017 and #ABCEW17.