This innovative project was established to provide direct support to local business, and to ensure that the public support for local businesses in the area is effective and efficient. Although based out of South Dublin Chamber and supporting Chamber members directly, the programmes, training and advisory services are available to the wider business community. The aim of this programme is to empower businesses to consider the sustainability and long term future of their business in spite of the recession in Ireland and globally. Businesses must address sustainability rather than just survival.
The sustainability programme ensured access to a wide variety of resources, that were not previously available, and by accessing them through this project we were able to provide a wider range of training and services to our members, and even outside of our membership, at no additional cost. An important principle of this project is to act as an effective conduit for connecting people, business and organisations.
The key challenge for SMEs is to increase its customer base and stabilise its financial situation. This can be done in many cases by embracing technology, changing work practices, reducing cost such as energy without reducing service quality. In the current climate many SME’s are focused only on cost reduction which may impact on their recovery. A core function of the programme is to illustrate the cost effectiveness of other options such as new technologies and efficient use of energy, transport and marketing. Additional benefits of the programme include
- Demonstrating leadership that current situation is not about shutting up shop
- Encouraging solidarity and camaraderie
- Competitors help each other
- Encouraging businesses to consider their local impact and the importance of CSR
The results to date are impressive with over 300 small and medium sized businesses being serviced by the programme. These businesses are now in a stronger position to not only survive but to grow. Keeping these businesses growing is key to addressing the economic recession and growing our economy.
The Business Sustainability Programme has required South Dublin Chamber to engage in new ways of working with Local Government to help businesses survive and grow, and offers the opportunity to share resources with local Government for the benefits of the wider business community.
The Business Sustainability Programme was awarded the ‘Local Authority Collaboration’ Award at the National Chamber of Ireland Awards in March 2019.
Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland, Ian Talbot mentioned ‘The judges felt that the collaboration between South Dublin Chamber and South Dublin County Council stood out from the other projects on a number of levels. The partnership demonstrated that their relationship has been a consistent success over a number of years, the benefits from the collaboration were clearly demonstrated, which will continue to help the whole community of South County Dublin in the years to come and the structure was considered to be very replicable’.
Get in touch with Cliodhna to find out more about this programme – email@example.com or 01-4622107.