Some things I’ve just found out

Insights from recent Taking Care of Business – One Stop Shop!
Do I go or not go?

All self-employed people ask the same question when an event, a seminar, a conference or similar catches the eye. How much will it cost? How much time will it take? Will I get any business from it? Why go, will it be worth it? I’ve got so much to do…….

Well I went…to the Taking Care of Business – One Stop Shop in Dublin Castle (Oct 22nd 2013 – it was free). Lovely venue, great location (I like being in the City Centre) but I was still asking myself the same questions as I went in!

I went because I wondered what it was for. Who decided that it would be a good idea to get all the state apparatus that deals with business and put them on stage with a simple brief….tell people what you can do and how you can help their business? What were they trying to achieve?

I’m not sure that I’ve figured out the answer to those particular questions yet. But, I did learn some new things:

I learnt:

  • Job Bridge scheme will pay 7.5 – €10k to businesses taking on unemployed people. Dept of Social Protection
  • Setting up a food business seems a lot harder than any other business because of the food safety (registration, legislation, systems) Food Safety Authority
  • There are 58 labour inspectors going around trying to ensure that employers comply with employment rights. National Employment Rights Authority
  • There is a lot involved in data protection but a good starting point is to think about how you will be using the information. Data Protection Commissioner
  • The EPA provides grants – as well as support and advice. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Anti-competitive behaviour is unlawful (I hadn’t really thought about it like this) and you can be fined €5m and/or jail for 10 years. Competition Authority
  • There’s a new type of company on the way – it will be simpler and won’t have an objects clause so companies will be able to do what they like. Companies Registration Office
  • Common issues for Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement include: no proper books; shareholder issues and misbehaviour in insolvencies. Director – Corporate Enforcement
  • Fingal (the council) has a six-year development plan and sees enterprises (particularly food companies) as a very important part of that plan. Local Authorities (Fingal)
  • Health and safety breaches can be expensive – average cost over €9k and average compensation over €27k. Health & Safety Authority
  • The potential for job creation is hugely important for Enterprise Ireland now when applications are being assessed. Enterprise Ireland
  • The people who are hassled are often very good at they do, they are a threat – nobody is hassled for being useless. Equality Authority
  • If you don’t win a tender you should go back and see if it was a Compliance or Competitive issue i.e. did you fail the criteria requirement or the content. Office for Government Procurement
  • The Seed Capital Scheme and the Employment and Investment Initiative are still wholly under-used even though it is a way of getting tax relief. Revenue Commissioners
  • CEB’s provide more than funding and a greater range of supports (training etc) are available to lots more companies. County & City Enterprise Boards

I didn’t find out what the objective of the conference was – but I realise that I did take quite a lot away from it!