Local Enterprise Offices are at the Heart of the Business Community

21st April 2021

Posted In: FYI

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD, today announced the annual results of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) for 2020 which showed that over 7,500 companies employing over 35,000 people are now supported by the LEOs.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD said:  “LEOs are at the very heart of business in communities across the country. The work they do is invaluable and I want to express my particular appreciation to all LEO staff for their professionalism and commitment. I know 2020 was a really difficult year for them and for the businesses they help. The coming months will be similarly busy as we reopen our economy and help businesses get back on their feet. I know LEOs will be to the forefront as we rebuild after the pandemic.”

Supported by the Government, Local Enterprise Office supported companies created 5,585 new jobs in 2020.  Despite the new jobs created, there was a net jobs loss of 1,494 across the LEO portfolio of client companies in what was a challenging year for small businesses.

The Local Enterprise Offices were to the fore in supporting small businesses across the country in 2020, helping thousands to pivot online or adapt their products and services through new Government supports introduced as part of the July Stimulus Package.  The LEOs approved 13,091 Trading Online Vouchers to assist businesses get online to trade or improve their existing online offering.  This was up over 950% from 1,218 in 2019 and proved to be a vital resource for many businesses helping to reach their customers.

The Local Enterprise Offices are now supporting 35,236 jobs across 7,529 companies. 2020 also saw the successful transition of 133 companies from the Local Enterprise Offices to Enterprise Ireland as they continue to scale and look to international markets.

The LEOs provided significant training and mentoring to small businesses in 2020 to help them navigate the particularly difficult trading environment created by Covid-19 and Brexit.  Last year, the Local Enterprise Offices trained over 77,000 entrepreneurs and business representatives, up from 37,000 the year previous.  16,231 completed business mentoring assignments up from 10,756 in 2019.

In 2020, over €22million was approved by Local Enterprise Offices to clients for projects across the year to help improve their businesses in a range of areas.  This figure was up from €20million in 2019 and is the largest amount of approved funding by the Local Enterprise Offices to small businesses to date. 

For more information on the Local Enterprise Offices go to www.LocalEnterprise.ie