“Tangible demonstration” of support for SME recovery and growth
One of Northern Ireland’s leading banks is to throw open the doors of its branches throughout Northern Ireland for the second time this year so that local businesses can use the space to showcase their products and boost their sales.
Bank of Ireland said its plan for a series of “Show Your Business“ events during its Enterprise Week in November was an important step and a further tangible demonstration of its commitment to support local small and medium sized enterprises.
The bank, which is actively promoting its package of loans and advice for start-ups and existing small businesses, hopes to use all its 44 branches for the campaign and provide an opportunity for up to 500 businesses to promote their products or services to the public.
The branch events runs from November 19th-26th as part of an all-island small business support initiative by Bank of Ireland. In the same week, Bank of Ireland will hold two major seminars in Belfast and Derry around the themes of motivation and business recovery and to outline the funding and support available from the bank for businesses.
Fred Smyth, Head of Branches, East, Bank of Ireland Northern Ireland said: “Following the success of our Enterprise Week earlier this year, during which we opened some branches to local businesses, we now want to go further and use as many of our branches as we can to help entrepreneurs of all types. We have made a public commitment to support the SME sector and our planned events are a tangible demonstration of that.
“Bank of Ireland’s commitment to the SME sector remains steadfast and we continue to approve four out of every five credit applications we receive. Since we launched our Essentials for Business package of finance and advice for new and existing small businesses almost two years ago we have assisted more than 3,000 people, and we continue to sign up 100 new businesses a month.
“We’ve also been focused on supporting customers in difficulty, making sure we have our most experienced bankers available to help in areas such as working capital requirements.”
Mr Smyth said that feedback from events held last May was very positive, with businesses welcoming the practical support which branch showcasing events offered them.
“Smaller companies have a pivotal role to play in sustaining and growing the economy of Northern Ireland and all the evidence points to the existence of a strong and dynamic SME sector.
“Research among our managers and business advisors in Northern Ireland indicates that progressive and more innovative businesses that have adapted to changes in the marketplace as early as possible are best positioned to take an advantage of an upturn in the economy
“Our message to entrepreneurs is – if you have a viable business, with a good business plan, sound knowledge of your market and is capable of meeting its commitments then we will help you identify and meet the full range of your financial and banking needs.”
Dundonald based business Philtech was established in 2004 by husband and wife team Philip and Rhoda Moore. Philtech are the all-Ireland agents for two global products; a pneumatic tube system that enables hospitals to move drugs, blood samples and x-rays between different sites via underground tubes. It also enables financial institutions to move large amounts of cash between premises. Phil-tech also manage ‘Invisa-bean’ a bed monitor that works as an early warning fall monitor for those working with the elderly.
Phil-tech has been a customer of Bank of Ireland since April. They opened their account with Bank of Ireland as they wanted to be with a financial institution with an all-Ireland presence and where they could meet with their relationship manager when they wanted.
Philip Moore, Partner of Philtech, said: “I appreciate what Bank of Ireland has done for us in such a short space of time. Their expertise in helping us to keep the company lean and flexible has been invaluable and our business manager has given us useful insights into more efficient ways to manage cash flow and keep our accounting up to date. Phil-tech is participating in Enterprise Week as we believe it is a good platform to create awareness about the company and what we do.”
Bank of Ireland’s planned events will be widely promoted and advertised in order to attract both the public and other businesses to the branches to maximise sales and networking opportunities for the owners displaying their goods and services.
For up to date information on Bank of Ireland Enterprise Week, go to www.bankofireland.co.uk