The economic impact of Covid-19 and Brexit have yet to be defined. Current indicators are not positive and will bring change to every strata of business in every corner of Ireland.
Particular concern is about rural Ireland and a very evident economic disparity. A recent report by Eastern and Western Regional Assembly confirms a significant underspend in Education, Health and Transport by successive government
Rural Ireland has an over dependence on the endangered agricultural sector. Micros, those enterprises employing less than ten people dominates the business landscape.
These areas has neither the demographic or geographic scale to optimize Regional Development. This fault line may finally be recognised by the EU
“Europe’s success will depend on EUs ability to tap into local leadership. A new localism, informed by stronger. Local and National authorities, partnership, bottom up policies, civic dialogues, therefore essential to ensure European policies effective global challenge”
Dr Frank Crowley, an economist at the Spatial and Regional Centre at UCC has researched regional imbalance. Crowley suggests a different model, which would bring more autonomy to regions so that they can address their specific needs, rather than a national policy. Dr Crowley has also highlighted the employment dangers now brought by increased automation.
360 Degree Development Local economic development
Very many of our rural enterprises are vulnerable. There was very little evidence of any economic recovery since 2008 and any further downturn will have a catastrophic impact
Many of the business support programmes are no longer fit for purpose.
Peadar Toibin TD chaired a Dail committee 2017, published a report on the national Community based development sector. The committee highlighted a number of recommendations. LEADER, a once vital and effective cog in rural development has succumbed to complexity.
360 Degree Development seeks to build a rural economic development network, at community level, a town level and county level
This needs led initiative introduces a number of development templates.
The client community can opt for a template that can be amended for particular local needs. The community may have an existing project with development potential.
Rural Ireland has a legacy of self-help both in Social and Economic sectors. Most communities have local Credit Unions, Community Halls. Group Water Schemes. The diversity includes Enterprise Centres to a Helicopter Services.
Introductory Measures Development Networks
Objectives (Needs Analysis)
IOM (Independent Operations Management}
Second and Third Level Training Resources (local)
It may be possible to re-invigorate some existing programmes for inclusion
This is an operational programme
It is assumed that relevant Departments will co-operate and communicate
County (Town) Marketing Company
Covid -19 restrictions have strangled Demand for most enterprises. A key goal is to re- establish Demand for those businesses. This is a fully functional ecommerce site representing those on a county basis and those in local retail.
The bigger vision is to represent local Smart tourism VIP Visitor Information Points as part of this offering. Those enterprises with export potential will also be included
The emergence of Remote Working participants will also be included
There may be demand to host or participate in public presentation
Smart Tourism Visitor information Points
Tourism development is based on two key pillars, Content and Communication. The Culturally Curious Report highlights the vast potential of historical and culture to a growing market. The report also note a preference for rural areas, extended season and higher spend
Rural Ireland has an abundance of Cultural and Historical content. This is supplemented by OPW, Local Authority Heritage Offices, National Folklore, and Duchas. Some of this material would need to be digitized and in some cases added video.
The primary channel is an adaption of QR, Quick Response code but presented as QRVO Quick Response Voice Over and video content.
The is a simple phone based application that scans a code with introduces the relevant (updatable) content
Local promotors may also consider a local App and additional social media communications
Marketing can be at a local community level and also be included in the County Marketing Company
VIP is not a standalone promotion. It optimizes existing resources and enhances the current tourism offering. This should logically find synergy with existing tourist operations
Rural Retail is in a challenging position on several fronts, change in local demographics and changed shopping trends. There will be business closures and there are those with the courage and determination to continue.
The initial proposal is to consolidate into local networks to achieve scale and impact
The end result could very well be a customer facing local retail sector with an online ecommerce site with perhaps a home delivery option
A specific business solution cannot be presented pending the completion of a comprehensive Needs Analysis
The full consequences of the Covid-19 fallout have yet to be defined
Ireland can be broadly categorised in three tiers
1 Large Pharma, Food IT Services
2 Small Medium Enterprise, SME, 70% of Irish Workers, 1.6 Million are employed
3 Micro, those employing less than 10 persons. The sector employs 400,000. Many are homebased and family owned
The business landscape in rural Ireland is Micro, many of which are still vulnerable and still in recovery after the 2008 meltdown
The most vulnerable are the rural based Micro enterprises. This nearly forgotten segment has yet to recover from the last financial meltdown and has neither the resources nor strategy to counter Covid 19 impact or Brexit. This is the primary focus of 360 Degree Development
The overall strategy is to support rural Micro in a pro-business environment. This should include existing, start-ups and those in particularly vulnerable positions
This includes tangible Marketing support, relevant training and upskilling. The proposed network brings increased scale and impact, synergy and allows participants a much more robust business model. 360 Degree Development is an OPERATIONAL programme
The core objective is to present a local and networked business support platform to every county in Ireland.
Rural Ireland will be presented as a place to live work and learn
This includes a significant input to local tourism development.
Retail can gain through network and training
Services will be introduced to shared facility and marketing
The full extent of supports needed by the Agri sector has yet to be determined and the support mechanism should include the necessary capacity
Each community should consider a physical building as a local enterprise development hub to accommodate small enterprises, Remote Working sites information/coordination offices. The building should offer high quality broadband
The programme should bring together all the relevant development agencies and those remaining programmes which could be redesigned for more practical applications.
“This document contains information which is confidential to John Moran and all Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights in this documentation and all information contained in it shall vest in John Moran”