Chamber planning an ‘Innovation Centre’

The AGM of Roscommon Chamber of Commerce was held in Hannon’s Hotel on Thursday, 2nd of February last. The outgoing President, Sean Mahon and ongoing Executive of Caitlin McConn, Ursula Hannon, Cait Gleeson, Rita Oates and Declan Molloy were re-elected for a further term.

  Addressing the meeting, the President, Sean Mahon, thanked the Exectutive for all the hard work done throughout the year. There were more than 30 meetings between meetings of the Executive, sub-committees and general meetings. It took a considerable amount of sacrifice on the part of the members of the Executive and indeed the various persons on the sub-committees and without that effort the Chamber could not function.The President reported that membership had grown significantly and that the Chamber is striving to have over 100 members next year. The Chamber circulates information to almost 150 businesses with a view to keeping the wider business community informed and also with a view to encouraging them to become members of the Chamber and active in the business of the Chamber.

  The President reported on a very successful and eventful year. The Chamber has put in place a structure that there are quarterly meetings with the County Manager and also other regular meetings with Directors of Services for the purpose of ensuring that there is an input from the business community into decisions being made by the Council and for the purpose of ensuring that due regard is given to the concerns of businesses. The issues that were primarily dealt with between the Council Executive and the Chamber were the new carpark, the continuance of free parking in the town, the devising of a new town plan and the construction of an Innovation Centre in the town.

  The Chamber recognised the importance of the Town Teams set up by the County Council. Initially the Town Teams were being funded through the deferred reduction in rates. The importance of collaboration between the Chamber and the Town Teams was emphasised. The importance and benefits in such co-operation was made clear through the Bank of Ireland Enterprising Town competition.

  The importance of the Chamber working together with other organisations and committees whether it is the Lamb Festival, the Drama Festival, Shannonside Country Music Festival, the County Board, Club Rossie and many, many more organisations and businesses was highlighted. The collaboration and working together is all for the purpose of promoting Roscommon and stimulating initiatives and opportunities.

  No sooner did the Season of Goodwill end when the rates issure returned to haunt the businesses, Mr. Mahon noted. The Chamber quickly got information out to the members and to the businesses in general regarding the rates issue. The true effect of the new valuations will not be known until the end of this year so judgement will have to be reserved on whether or not the campaign was successful.

  Looking forward to next year, the main initiative will be the construction of the Innovation Centre and the continuation of the roll out of broadband. The Chamber are looking forward to increased co-operation with the Town Teams, particularly in respect of the installation of CCTV in the town and the application for the purple flag for Roscommon.

  The President concluded by thanking everyone who attended and thanking everyone for their assistance throughout the year.