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Oliver Ireland has appointed Conor O'Riordan to a senior creative role.

Focus Ireland today launched its Shine a Light Night in Dublin's Iveagh Gardens, when business leaders sleep out together for one night in Dublin's Iveagh Gardens or Cork's City Gaol to raise funds for the homeless.

A new study based on an analysis of the Property Price Register shows that the number of transactions for H1 2014 was up 39% on the same period last year.

Canon has announced a significant update to its SoHo (Small office, Home office) and small business print portfolio with the launch of MAXIFY.

UPC has launched its biggest ever new season kick-off with a €2m advertising and marketing campaign highlighting sports channel pricing and its Horizon TV service.

Player transfer spending by Premier League clubs in the summer 2014 transfer window reached a new record, according to analysis by the business advisory firm Deloitte.

The Bridge 1859 was officially announced today as the name of the Ballsbridge bar formerly known as Bellamy's.

New car sales through August finished 28% up on last year with 4,708 units sold, according to Motorcheck.ie.

LikeCharity, the mobile fundraising company behind the Ice Bucket Challenge, says over 500,000 Irish people have donated to the Ice Bucket Challenge craze via text.

Mobile operator Three is to shed 160 staff as part of its business restructuring, following the firm's €780m acquisition of O2 recently.

Sage Ireland and The Digital Hub have teamed up to host a free event for start-ups and entrepreneurs, entitled 'Secrets To My Success'.

The majority of businesses in Ireland plan to leave staff numbers unchanged for the rest of 2014, while 7% expect to shed staff in the coming months, according to research from the Small Firms Association (SFA).

Consultant Shane Craddock believes that CEOs, senior executives and business owners should clarify their main priorities to the end of this year.

The deadline for entries in the National Organic Awards competition is looming -- Irish organic food and drink growers and manufacturers have until September 5 to apply.

TEDx Dublin on Saturday September 13 is sold out but you can win two tickets to the event and more besides thanks to Business Plus and Mazda.

Thousands of passengers flying with Etihad Airways on Sunday 7 September will be able to enjoy every moment of the GAA Hurling All Ireland Final between Kilkenny and Tipperary.

ISME will hold its annual conference for 2014 in the RDS on October 24, under the theme 'the spirit of enterprise'.

E-learning and gamification company ThoughtBox has partnered with a consortium of innovation experts from around Europe to launch an accelerator initiative for promising startups.

The Competition Authority has warned schools about operating exclusivity deals with retailers.

IRES REIT has announced that is exchanging contracts to acquire a portfolio of 761 apartments from NAMA.

Entrepreneurs from a variety of industry sectors are coming to Dublin on September 5 for the Disruptors Business Conference.

Three and eircom have signed a new network sharing agreement, fulfilling one of the commitments Three entered into as part of receiving EU Commission approval for its acquisition of O2 in Ireland earlier this year.

Irish information security firm Ward Solutions is to create 22 jobs at its Dublin and Belfast offices as a part of a €1.8m expansion of the business.

Middleton Park House, which was put on the market for just under €1m earlier this year, has been bought by a UK-based equity firm.

Twitter has sprung the lid on its analytics trove, giving all users of the social networking channel access to a wealth of data on their daily tweets.

IFG Group plc has sold its Irish pension and financial advisory businesses to Willis Ireland, part of NYSE-listed Willis Group Holdings.

A delegation from the Small Firms Association lobby group has told new junior enterprise minister Jed Nash not to increase the minimum wage.

Tesco Ireland is to donate €10,000 to the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association, following a recent uplift in sales of bags of ice as a result of the ice bucket challenge.

Irish domain hosting firm Blacknight has become one of the earliest recipients of a .Press domain name.

Irish consumer spending online through the second quarter of 2014 was up by 51% on the same period last year, according to a new report published by Wolfgang Digital.

Groupon has unveiled a completely redesigned Irish website, as well as updated versions of its iPhone and Android apps.

There aren't enough hours in the day for 42% of Irish business owners, according to findings from Sage.

Ryanair has unveiled Ryanair Business Plus, its new product aimed at business fliers. It has no connection Ireland's leading business magazine, Business Plus.

McDonald's restaurant chain has partnered with Kerry Group for an initiative to highlight best practice in sustainable milk production for its international supply chain.

A new smartphone-based study aid for Junior and Leaving Certificate students has been launched by well-known musician Frank McNamara.

FEXCO, Google and the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association are hosting a workshop for SMEs at Google's HQ in Dublin on September 22nd.

Hibernia REIT has acquired a 0.75 acre freehold site at 1-6 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2, for €17.75m in an off-market transaction.

Independent.ie is Ireland's most popular news website, attracting over nine million unique users in July alone.

Danish footwear retailer ECCO has officially unveiled its new store on Thomas Street in Limerick today.

A new competition to showcase digital marketing excellence has been launched for the Cork region.

Retail Ireland's Budget 2015 submission is urging the government to use the upcoming budget to give something back to consumers, in a bid to boost spending and jobs in the retail sector.

Coupa Software is the latest US firm to join stateside behemoths like Facebook and Google in setting up a Dublin presence.

ExamTime.com, the online learning environment that has 600,000 users in 190 countries, is now launching out of beta with new features in time for back to school.

Irish hotel management company Great National Asset Management has bought Breaffy House Resort for an undisclosed sum.

Volvo has unveiled its 7900 Electric Hybrid bus after a successful field test in Gothenburg over the past year.

Three is partnering with Nokia Networks in a deal to upgrade its 2G and 3G networks.

Irish property investment outfit Hibernia Reit has bought The Forum building in Dublin's IFSC for €37.8m.

Turkish Airlines secured a quartet of honours at the 2014 Skytrax World Airline Awards.

Steljes Ireland has unveiled a new projector that makes dry whiteboards digitally interactive and turns them into electronic whiteboards.

Kildare-based traditional ham manufacturer O'Brien Fine Foods, which trades as Brady Family, has produced a short film documenting the ham-making process.

Former Sage Ireland boss Liam Mullaney is to head up the European sales drive of Oregon accounting software company VersAccounts

Ryanair has launched a new daily Dublin-Brussels Zaventem route as part of an extended Dublin winter 2014 schedule, with nine new routes and increased flights on 21 existing routes to/from Dublin Airport.

Ireland's digital skills shortage is still keeping fingernails gnawed to the quick among SME owners, who worry that their firms will be left behind.

Pilz Ireland, a subsidiary of the German based automation technology company Pilz, is planning to extend its facility in Cork.

Ryanair has hired John Hurley from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to take charge of developing and implementing a world-leading digital and technology strategy for the airline.

New research from the Central Bank shows that SMEs that took out loans to purchase property during the boom years are almost twice as likely to default when compared with those businesses that don't have property loans.

Electricity company Scottish Power has struck a deal with climote to bring its smart home heating technology to the UK.

Kate Cronin and Elizabeth Fingleton have designed a handy new disposable box that makes it easier to store food scrapings before dumping them in the brown bin.

Leaving Cert students who don't get their top CAO choices might want to consider engineering and construction qualifications, as demand is outstripping supply in the sectors.

Brehon Capital Partners and Midwest Holding have acquired Killashee House Hotel in Kildare for €13m.

WiFi network operator Bitbuzz says revenue for first half of 2014 increased by 11% year-on-year to €1,102,000.

ISME has published more findings from its recent national crime survey, this time highlighting the rising rate of business scams in the SME sector.

Premier Suites will open its newest collection of luxury serviced apartments at Merrion Hall, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 on September 8.

GloHealth has launched a new range of health insurance plans pitched at those considering leaving the health insurance market.

Argento, the Irish owned jewellers with stores around Ireland and the UK, has opened a flagship store at 117 Grafton St, Dublin 2.

Brazilian restaurant Taste of Brazil has been named as the friendliest business in Dublin for 2014.

T5 Oil & Gas Limited has appointed Peter Heintzelman to the Board of Directors as Chief Financial Officer.

Over two thirds of businesses in Ireland plan to invest in their business over the next 12 months.

Bank of Ireland Finance has launched a new Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) product for second hand cars.

Nestlé Ireland is on target to achieve 100% cocoa from sustainable sources by end of 2015, becoming the first major confectionery company in Ireland to achieve this milestone.

Sandwich store franchise Nom Nom Subs has opened its second outlet, this time in Lucan, with plans to extend the franchise to five stores by the end of 2014.

Formed from a 2011 MBO, most staff in Agile Networks are shareholders, and the model is working wonders for profitability.

Ireland's clutch of fried chicken eateries is ever growing and the latest franchise to spread its wings is Hillbilly's Family Restaurants.

Cloud storage is handy but Dublin startup CloudDock sees a niche to make cloud storage services compatible.

Holiday company Thomson has added two new Sensatori Resorts in Ibiza and Turkey to its programme for 2015, as well as new properties across other parts of its brochure.

Less taxing times in the hospitality sector have helped created 30,000 jobs since 2011, according to a report published by Fáilte Ireland.

San Francisco's Jawbone has followed up its popular fitness- and sleep-tracking wristband, called Up, with a new wireless iteration, Up24.

The new female boss of digital agency Radical says that that most of her clients' budgets go on Facebook and Google.

MSL Motor Group has signed up for the fourth year as sponsor of Setanta Sports' Premier League matches.

Irish-based Danu Investment Partners is offloading Setanta Sports Australia to beIN Media Group.

Seven new speakers have been added to the lineup for this year's Web Summit, which is taking place in the RDS from November 4 to 6. The additions include Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin's chief scientist, and Des Traynor, co-founder of business messaging app Intercom.

Bombay Pantry, which was awarded three Gold Stars at the 2014 Great Taste Awards, has been making good progress in reducing its sizeable debt burden.

London-based outsourcing firm Capita has acquired SouthWestern Business Process Services Limited from private equity group Ion Equity for €35m on a cash-free, debt-free basis. SouthWestern is the leading domestic provider of outsourced managed services in Ireland.

Ireland's brightest sparks are invited to compete for the 2014 ESB Spark of Genius award at this year's Web Summit, which offers a prize kitty of over €25,000.

Emirates Airline has appointed Enda Corneille as Country Manager - Ireland.

The company that owns the Leopardstown Inn pub in south Dublin has stumped up €99,000 in a cash call for radio station Newstalk 106-108fm.

The Rubicon Centre in Cork has launched a new programme for female entrepreneurs in the science, technology, engineering and maths sectors.

The number of professional job vacancies through July 2014 was up 21% year on year, according to Morgan McKinley's employment monitor for the month.

The "exceptional strength" of short-term economic indicators in H1 2014 such as the PMIs, tax revenue growth, retail sales and the falling unemployment rate has taken finance house Davy by surprise.

CFO optimism about their companies' financial prospects has hit a five-year high, according to Deloitte's second-quarter survey of businesses in Ireland.

Functionality clearly trumped inspiration in the rebranding of Dublin City Business Improvement District, which will now be known as DublinTown. The organisation comprises 2,500 businesses located in the city centre.

A €350,000 investment in a state-of-the-art Italian Brambatti roaster is paying dividends for one of Ireland's oldest coffee and tea companies, Robert Roberts.

A new report on commercial vacancy rates shows that 28,000 units were unoccupied through the second quarter of 2014.

Newegg today announced that its award-winning electronics e-commerce website is now available to online shoppers in Ireland.

Low wages now accompany short working hours, thus causing a low income spiral of precarious work, according to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

Apple products reseller iConnect is planning its third store opening in Ireland next month, this time in Foyleside Shopping Centre in Derry.

NewsWhip, the Dublin company that tracks trending stories and sells the info to news organisations, booked a net loss of €327,000 in the year to end October 2013.

LeasePlan has devised a new SME and sole trader offering, which the company says proves once and for all that leasing is the most cost-advantageous option for financing your company vehicles.

Digital presents businesses with a new channel to reach their customers directly, and SMEs in particular need to take advantage of this, according to Gary Disley, marketing director of eircom Business Solutions

The new Eircode postcode system is on the way next year and companies need to start preparing now

Luke Comer and Brian Comer are in the news today after Jack Fagan in the Irish Times reports that the brothers have bought the partially built Kilternan Hotel & Country Club in south Dublin at a knockdown price.

It was bound to happen eventually, given the amount of caffeine that Irish people imbibe, but the country's first coffee and tea festival took till 2014 to arrive.

Kefron, the document and information management company, has opened a new 50,000 square foot record centre adjacent to its existing operation in Park West, Dublin.

Event Info Ltd, which went into liquidation on 24 July 2013, received an investment of €200,000 from Enterprise Ireland on 30 April 2013.

Regrowth in the Irish housing market is being hampered by an outdated tax policy that is misaligned to deal with the housing crisis.

Peter Crowley and Neill Hughes, principals in FL Partners, the Dublin-based investment boutique, have invested in Brookwood Dublin, the trendy new steak restaurant on Baggot Street in Dublin 2.

Contracting Plus, an accountancy firm that focuses on providing services to contractors, is the latest company to tap into the demand for online services.

Consumers are increasingly confident, which is fuelling a sustained improvement in overall spending, according to a new analysis.

A 2012 startup established by Martina Skelly and her brother Mick Skelly has secured €600,000 investment for its online booking software, Yellow Schedule.

Cork's Curious Wines has the capital in its sights with a new retail and distribution centre in Naas.

Most business owners have good intentions when taking a holiday break that in between the dozing, the swimming, the eating and the drinking, they'll put aside some time to think about the business. Inevitably though, people find it hard to focus on the homework when the temptation to doss is all around.

Etihad Airways, led by James Hogan, has rescued Alitalia, the ailing Italian state airline, with a €388m investment that sees the Abu Dhabi airline acquire a 49% shareholding.

Structured support for early-stage companies has taken off in recent years and some 27 accelerator and incubator programmes are currently operational in Ireland, assisting over 200 companies every year.

Lowcost Holidays has reported a significant increase in visitors and bookings on its site for the months of September and October, according to managing director Clem Walshe.

A few weeks after swooping for restructuring practice Kavanagh Fennell, Deloitte managing partner Brendan Jennings has struck a deal with specialist R&D tax practice Leyton to bring it under the Deloitte umbella.

Even though most people using the internet should know they leave behind digital footprints as they navigate the web, few are fully aware of the extent many of the sites they visit monitor and use the information they garner concerning the browsing behaviour of every individual.

Offaly software company Future Ticketing is facilitating online booking of car park spaces for GAA fans attending matches in Croke Park.

Eirtech Aviation, which was spun out of Lufthansa Technik in an MBO in 2009, has merged with an American peer company in a deal that sees Eirtech principals Niall Cunningham and Peter Collins become major players in their specialised sector.

As tensions rise between the EU and Russia over Ukraine, Trend Micro is warning internet users of the various uses of how their personal data will be used by cybercriminals in the coming months.

The Food & Drink Business Conference is being held at the Aviva Stadium on September 10. The event has been organised to bring together the key stakeholders responsible for delivering the key targets set out in Food Harvest 2020.

The Digital Marketing Institute has moved to beef up its syllabus with input from leading professionals active in the digital sector in Ireland.

The sluggishness of the euro area economies relative to the UK and US may well see a further weakening of the currency versus the pound and the dollar, according to Garret Grogan, Head of Long Term Interest Rate Trading, Bank of Ireland Global Markets.

UPC Ireland has announced Q2 2014 results, with digital TV, high-speed Internet and voice subscriptions increased by 7,600 to 1,091,600 subscriptions on Q1 and up 70,100 year-on-year.

From 6th August Vodafone customers can enjoy Sky Sports channels live on their mobile. Customers can avail of Sky Sports Mobile TV as part of their Red Extra bill pay plan or as an add-on to their current bill pay or PAYG package.

Business sentiment was broadly steady in Q2 2014, according to a July survey of 400 chartered accountants working in senior positions in Ireland's leading companies.

A new online account management system for SMEs has been launched in Ireland by Bibby Financial Services. The system, in which Bibby invested €13m, allows customers to manage their fund and accounts online.

Bank of Ireland (BOI) says that credit approvals to SMEs for H1 2014 totalled €2.1bn at the bank. Around 32,000 SME credit applications were approved from January to the end of June, up 7% year on year.

Office accommodation firm Regus has opened a sixth centre in Ireland, the latest one in 'The Chase' building in Sandyford, Dublin. The firm has four other centres across Dublin and one in Cork.

The advertising sector is starting to reflect signs of economic stabilisation and recovery, but the pace of improvements in expenditure is lagging the wider economic uptick. That's according to the third - and latest - AAI/Nielsen Barometer, which looked at trends in the first quarter of 2014.

Ryanair is continuing its IT revival with the launch of a new app, which follows on from the firm's recent website redesign. The free app, available for iOS and Android, will allow customers to browse and book flights, choose allocated seating, book hotels and car hire, download mobile boarding passes and view live information.

The consequences of skills shortages in software development could cost Ireland thousands of jobs, according to a new study published on the sector. The 'Irish Software Landscape Study', was conducted by Lero - the Irish software engineering research centre; the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick, and the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy at the University of Cambridge.

The office vacancy rate in the capital has dropped to its lowest level since 2008, according to the Q2 2014 office market report by Jones Lang LaSalle.

Irish businesses are expressing less satisfaction in the government every quarter, judging by the results of ISME's latest survey of its members. It shows that government satisfaction ratings have fallen across several categories that ISME investigated.

Plans for a new broadband network that promises speeds of between 200Mbps and 1,000Mbps have been announced by ESB and Vodafone. The two firms are partnering up for the proposed €450m investment, which involves providing end-to-end fibre optic connections for faster download speeds.

Consumer confidence is see-sawing but Irish HR directors are expressing significant confidence in the economy and their own businesses, according to a survey published by PwC.

New car sales for H1 2014 topped 66,000, making this year the best one for the motor industry since 2008. Figures from Motorcheck.ie calculate that new car sales are up 24% this year on the same period in 2013.

A new Central Bank report on the Irish SME credit market shows that lending to the sector has remained broadly static since 2011, but the rate of loan default among SMEs stood at 26% by the end of 2013.

Pembroke Communications and Slattery Communications have announced plans to merge their PR agencies to form a new communications group.

Ulster Bank has announced a new three-year fixed-rate mortgage deal for new and existing customers. The rate of 4.25% (4.5% APR fixed) is being made available until September 30.

Nominations for the 2014 eircom Spider Awards are now being invited. The long-running digital awards competition, which has taken place annually for 19 years, will accept applications for its 2014 iteration until October 1.

Online recruitment site ChinaHR, which is owned by Denis O'Brien and Leslie Buckley, is to undergo a €30m investment programme to ramp up its multi-platform recruitment services in China.

A new website aimed at road haulage and passenger transport operators has been launched by the government. The website, www.rtol.ie, eschews design fripperies in favour of stark functionalism, and allows hauliers/operators to apply for and manage their licenses online.

Around 32,000 entrepreneurs set up new businesses in Ireland last year, according to the findings of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2013. One in eleven of the adult population in Ireland now have some form of engagement in early-stage businesses.

Newmarket Partnership has joined Crowe Horwath's network of independent accountancy and advisory firms. The firm was founded 25 years ago by Gerry O'Reilly and the late David Manley.

The implications of new EU consumer legislation for online traders are detailed in a selling guide just launched by Dublin Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the European Consumer Centre Ireland.

A new fund aimed at startups has been established in Tipperary, primarily geared towards firms that are participating in one of the various support programmes being run for startups on Limerick Institute of Technology's (LIT) Enterprise Ladder.

Bank of Ireland has launched a national accelerator programme for startups and entrepreneurs, inviting applications to compete for the ten available places in the three-month initiative.

A new funding stream targeting graduate startups has been launched by Enterprise Ireland (EI). The 'Competitive Start Fund for Graduates' will divvy up €500,000 between ten successful applicants and is inviting applications from July 9.

Irish telco firm AirSpeed Telecom claimed the European Business Awards title of 'RSM Entrepreneur of the Year', which was announced at a ceremony in Athens.

US venture capital fund Lightstone Ventures is to partner with Enterprise Ireland (EI) and the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) to establish a €126m VC fund to invest in Irish firms in the life sciences sector.

Workplaces can expect a great migration of employees from job to job this year, according to the findings of recruitment firm Berkley Group's tenth annual Global Sentiment Survey, which analyses employment and market perceptions.

The government has launched an online search tool for SME business supports.

Dublin will soon have a 'commissioner for startups', who will be employed to maximise the potential of the capital's tech cluster.

CityJet has been bought by German firm Intro Aviation. Previously owned by Air France KLM, CityJet will now operate as an independent regional airline and will start debt-free.

A medical software firm based in NUI Galway's incubation centre claimed top prize in a startup competition run at one of Europe's top tech gatherings. Pocket Anatomy was selected ahead of nine other startups after an on-stage business pitch at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam.

The government launched its new nationwide system of 31 local enterprise offices (LEO) today, replacing the county enterprise board (CEB) system.

A new training programme to help Irish food firms develop their online presence has been launched by Bord Bia and Google. The 'Digital Food Hub' will kick off with 21 food companies enrolled.

Clare-based food diagnostics firm AltraTech has secured significant financial backing after developing a single-use test kit that can identify the DNA content of a food sample in a matter of minutes.

Software company AMT-Sybex has been bought by Capita for an initial €100m, rising to €127m if the firm reaches agreed profit targets over the coming 12 months.

A new Enterprise Ireland (EI) fund targeted at startups in the aviation and manufacturing sectors is now open for applications. The EI Competitive Start Fund will accept submissions until April 30.

Businesses are all for maximising their internet presence these days, but only about 10% of firms are able to manage website content for themselves, according to a survey of Irish companies.

First Ireland Spirits has been bought by European drinks group Quintessential Brands for an undisclosed sum. Established in 1993, First Ireland is the country's largest independent producer of Irish cream liqueurs and country creams, and employs around 50 people.

Plans are underway in Killybegs to develop the world's largest bio-marine ingredients facility in the harbour town, with the potential to create up to 120 jobs.

Jobs minister Richard Bruton has announced that 50 new high end technology based positions will be created over the next three years by US software company KEMP Technologies at its EMEA HQ in Limerick.

Commercial property consultants CBRE today released statistics for commercial property investment spend in the first three months of 2014, reporting that more than half of the volume of investment activity in the Irish market in 2013 has been signed in the first quarter of 2014.

Average alcohol consumption by 3.6 million Irish adults in 2013 amounted to 10.73 litres of pure alcohol per person. That's equivalent to an average of 128 bottles of wine per person per annum.

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) has launched its tenth annual competition for the best ideas to tackle social and environmental problems.

UK van retailer Van Monster, owned by Northgate plc, has landed in Dublin with a branch on the Old Airport Road near Dublin Airport. The company says the outlet is the first dedicated used van dealer in Ireland.

UPC, Ireland's leading TV, broadband and communications innovator, is supporting the launch of the new free employability networking site, www.yourock.jobs.

The level of money laundering activity in Ireland is estimated to be at least €3bn according to a new report published today by business advisory firm Grant Thornton.

One of the strongest outcomes from succession that business owners wish to achieve is family harmony following the completion of the process, according to a new survey from accountancy firm Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon.

Enterprise Ireland (EI) has made a new fund available to help Cork entrepreneurs develop startup ideas and boost job creation in the region. The €200,000 fund can provide up to €25,000 towards the cost of a feasibility study to help new entrepreneurs validate their startup ideas.

DCU has relocated its Propeller startup accelerator to Silicon Docks and is accepting applications for the programme until March 28. The accelerator is inviting applications from early-stage, hi-tech startups with domain expertise and B2B experience.

Ulster Bank has released some new additions to its supports for new businesses in Ireland, which now include a free app and an online list of local enterprise startup support options.

Knightsbridge Student Housing Ltd has announced a €23m development of housing for 470 students around parts of the old Guinness brewery in the Liberties.

Enterprise Ireland's (EI) 'New Frontiers' programme for early-stage companies is inviting applications for its third instantiation. The initiative's phase one programme will continue to accept applications until May 28, while its phase two programme will do so until March 28.

Getting stuck in traffic is the most common excuse offered by Irish staff to their bosses when they are running late, according to a new survey by Elephant Smart Business.

The first comprehensive study of YouTube users in Ireland has found that entertainment and education top the reasons for logging onto the site here.

The Subway sandwich store franchise continues to spread like butter across the country and has hit the 200 outlet mark with the opening of a store in Naas.

Revenue issued an e-brief this week, asking child-minders to familiarise themselves with their filing requirements. Tax relief is available for eligible child-minders whose income from the service does not exceed €15,000 in a tax year.

A €75m government investment fund for Irish SMEs looking to develop their export business was launched today. The fund will be delivered under the Development Capital Scheme and will target established Irish companies planning to tap into export markets.

If you choose a business SIM only plan, you can use it with the handset of your choice. This could either be a handset you own already or it could be a new handset that you buy SIM-free. Three Ireland's Ian Blake picks some of the best smartphones for small business.

Employment continued to rise in 2013, according to the CSO, with labour market figures showing an increase of 3.3% (61,000) in employment for Q4 2013. Seasonally adjusted, employment rose by 1.5% for the period.

Turkish Airlines has completed a 40% expansion to its lounge in Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, which now covers almost 6,000 square feet.

Investors backed Irish SMEs to the tune of €285m in 2013, up 6% on 2012, according to the Irish Venture Capital Association's (IVCA) annual VenturePulse survey.

Media monitoring company News Access has acquired the news cuttings arm of peer company Media World.

The 35% increase in excise on spirits in a period of 10 months (20% in Dec 2012 and 15% in Oct 2013) has had a severe impact on the Irish spirits market, according to Pernod Ricard, owner of the Jameson whiskey brand.

Ad agency Javelin Group has bought fellow Dublin-based digital agency Brand Social, following several months of discussions between the two companies. Brand Social will slot into the digital marketing side of Javelin's business.

Dublin PR agency Drury Communications is to rebrand as Drury|Porter Novelli. Porter Novelli is a global PR brand of the Omnicom Group, which owns Drury.

Communicorp Group, Ireland's largest commercial radio station company, has acquired eight regional radio stations from Global Radio in the UK. The stations, with 2.8 million listeners combined, are Smooth East Midlands, Smooth North West, Smooth North East, Capital Scotland, Capital South Wales, Real Radio North Wales, Real Radio Yorkshire and Real XS.

Domain registrar and hosting company Blacknight cut the ribbon on its new, €1m data centre at company headquarters in Carlow.

There's clearly an appetite among Irish food startups for some hands-on guidance: Bord Bia's recent small business open day in Santry attracted a full house of entrepreneurs, who lapped up the advice and insights given to them on the day.

Bibby Financial Services has launched a €60m lending fund for Irish SMEs that need cash flow or growth support. The invoice finance firm has also promised that it will make decisions on eligible firms applying for funding in five days or less.

Fledgling Dublin companies will be given the opportunity to take to the wing under the tutelage of established and successful business owners, as part of a new business development programme by Plato Dublin (PD).

Bankruptcy will no longer be a dirty word in 2014, according to Neo Financial's Paul Carroll, who predicts that those filing for it this year will be at least double the forecasted figure.

AIB is to make €100 million available for lending to enable Irish SMEs to radically lower their energy bills - and the bank will take into account the projected savings from energy efficiency projects when calculating the borrower's repayment capacity.

Twitter's self-serve advertising platform is now open to small and medium sized businesses in Ireland.

Professional network LinkedIn ended 2013 wth over one million Irish members.

Cluey, the Irish developer of cross-platform, cloud-based Point of Sale (POS) and CRM software for bars, cafes and restaurants is launching its innovative new system at the Web Summit on October 30.

A new study conducted by online HR software provider BreatheHR has lifted the lid on sick day absenteeism in the workplace, by examining exactly when, why and how often employees in SMEs call in sick.

Ireland is lower than the EU and OECD averages in setting up new business. To encourage individuals to start their own businesses, Budget 2014 has provided for a new CGT incentive.

A new centre at Dublin City University will work directly with Irish family firms to address the challenges they face.

A new business has been set up to help SMEs win a greater share of public sector contracts.

Castleknock Hotel & Country Club in Dublin, part of FBD Hotels & Resorts, has been named AA Hotel of the Year. AA inspectors said they were impressed by the consistent standards of excellence, innovation, attention to detail and service to guests.

Mairead O'Grady, taxation partner at accountancy firm Russell Brennan Keane, has put together a list of numerous ways in which individuals can legitimately and sensibly reduce their taxes.

A new online networking platform has been launched for enterprising women, allowing entrepreneurs to network and communication amongst themselves. The peer-to-peer platform is part of an Enterprise Ireland drive to boost the number of female-led startups.

Online travel insurance broker Blue Insurances has bought out Rowan Devereux, one of the firm's founding directors, and a shareholder, for just under €10m.

Emirates airlines will be ramping up its Dublin-Dubai service later this year with the introduction of a second daily non-stop flight to the UAE city from September 1. The new daily service will complement Emirates' Boeing 777 operation that commenced in January 2012, adding capacity of more than 5,000 seats a week in both directions.

Snap Ireland has announced the acquisition of The DG Group, one of the country's leading digital marketing services companies.

DDFH&B has announced the creation of a new public relations and communications company - The Reputations Agency, effective February 3, 2014. The new agency will bring together Corporate Reputations and Bespoke with Direction.

Smart businesses in 2014 will pay close attention to government initiatives rolled out under the Action Plan for Jobs unveiled in 2013. Companies that seek to participate in various programmes, which are mostly centred around the state-funded third level institutions, can expect to curry favour with Enterprise Ireland.

Ministers Pat Rabbitte and Brendan Howlin have approved the selection of a preferred bidder for the proposed acquisition of Bord Gáis Energy.

According to the latest statistics published by insolvencyjournal.ie, corporate insolvencies from January to November 2013 amounted to 1,236, a 20% drop on the same period in 2012.

Sandwich chain Subway has confirmed plans to open 40 new stores in Ireland in 2014.

Dublin-based Vermillion Design Consultants scooped the top two national awards for digital app design at the annual Institute of Designers of Ireland awards ceremony.

Golf marketing company, Golfgraffix, has signed a multi-year deal with Nicklaus Design, the design firm owned by golfer Jack Nicklaus. The deal will see the Dublin firm take its suite of interactive digital marketing products to the US and China.

The new Personal Insolvency legislation may not achieve its objectives of relieving debt for the great majority of distressed borrowers. For the legislation to work there may be a requirement for a state funded or creditor/bank funded insolvency service.

No you don't. Office supplier Viking has announced a new partnership with delivery specialists Parcel Motel to offer a convenient new delivery service for customers ordering from their website.

Irish charity Camara Ireland has issued an appeal for donations of laptops for use in Irish schools.

PayPal has been named as Multinational Employer of the Year at the 2013 Fingal Excellence in Business and Corporate Responsibility awards.

Vodafone Ireland and Spotify have announced an exclusive partnership in the Irish market.

Dublin-based TCAS Online, a leading provider of student accommodation management software, has raised €650,000.

Business confidence in Ireland has risen substantially over the past six months, according to the latest Business Confidence Index published by workspace provider Regus.

Adare-based Samco Agricultural Manufacturing was hailed Overall Business of the Year at the 2013 Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards last night.

Deutsche Bank has confirmed plans to create 700 jobs in Dublin over the coming years.

There was a 5% drop in the value of exports to €7.31bn in September, according to preliminary figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Waterford-based Dawn Meats has picked up a prestigious Green Apple Environment Award in Britain in recognition of the firm's environmental credentials.

Ezetop, the company which enables people living or working abroad to instantly top up mobile phones of friends and family back home, has achieved top spot in this year's Deloitte Technology Fast 50 awards for the second year running.

Apple has announced that the iPad Mini with Retina display is now available.

The shortlist for the eircom Spider Awards 2013 has been announced. The number of entries increased by 40% this year marking the highest number of entries since the awards began in 1996.

Danske Bank has been appointed to provide payments services infrastructure to Credit Unions.

Saongroup, the online recruitment company owned by Denis O'Brien and Leslie Buckley, has been acquired by international jobs board business StepStone for an undisclosed sum.

Patrick Joy, the founder and chairman of Suretank Group, has been named as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013. Last July Norwegian company Hitecvision bought a two-thirds stake in Suretank for €35 million.

Host Ireland Business Broadband has announced plans to move into a new multi-million euro office complex in Dublin.

Budget 2013 introduced a new film tax relief scheme which was due to apply from tax years 2016 to 2020. The introduction of the scheme has now been brought forward to apply from 2015.

The Research and Development ('R&D') Tax Credit regime has been reviewed by the Department of Finance. Based on this report, finance minister Michael Noonan has made a number of changes to the scheme.

A bottle of vodka would cost €3 if there was no tax on it, according to the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI).

Over half (58%) of business leaders said that Budget 2014 struck the right balance between achieving our fiscal targets and boosting confidence in the economy.

George Maloney of accountancy firm Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon has welcomed the announcement that legislation to introduce Examinership in the Circuit Court is to be fast tracked by the government.

In Budget 2014, finance minister Michael Noonan has introduced a Start Your Own Business (SYOB) measure aimed at encouraging individuals who are long-term unemployed to start their own unincorporated business.

Fast 4G mobile broadband has arrived in Ireland, but so far not for owners of Apple iPhones. It seems that Apple is stalling on 'switching on' 4G for current generation 5 series iPhones until the new 5s and 5c models are launched here on October 25.

Algebalance, a new educational video game app for iPad, which teaches the basics of algebra before children learn it in school, has been launched by Irish technology startup, Rongella.

Vodafone Ireland will switch on 4G mobile broadband services on Monday October 14 in six cities and 23 towns across the country.

Cork Chamber, in partnership with Vodafone, is seeking entrants from Cork-based firms for its company of the year awards.

Four companies are establishing new operations in Cork and Dublin with the creation of a total of 83 new jobs.

A lack of career progression is the primary reason for leaving a job, according to a survey by recruitment consultancy Robert Walters.

Despite good underlying letting and sales activity during the first half of 2013, there has been little change in retail high street vacancy rates over the last six month period, according to commercial property consultants CBRE.

The government has announced the establishment of a new €20m Irish venture capital fund.

Government departments, local authorities and state agencies will stop accepting and sending cheques in their dealings with businesses on 19 September 2014.

Two Kilkenny restaurants - Campagne in Kilkenny City and the Lady Helen at the Mount Juliet Hotel in Thomastown - have been awarded Michelin stars in the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2014

Failte Ireland has published a comprehensive examination of the adventure tourism market, examining key activities and illustrating where the future potential lies in this fast-growing tourism demographic for Ireland as a destination.

National Pen, which specialises in the marketing and manufacture of promotional products, has announced that it is to create 200 permanent jobs at its international HQ in Dundalk over the next five years.

The Irish Brewer's Association (IBA) has called on the government to reverse last year's excise increase on beer and cider which it said is creating significant challenges for publicans in Ireland.

O2 has launched a cloud services platform and suite of digital solutions for businesses called O2 Digital Solutions.

Revenue have issued comprehensive guidance on LPT issues that employers need to to be aware of in operating this new payroll deduction for employees who have opted to pay the tax through a monthly deduction from their net pay.

Eircom, operators of Ireland's largest WiFi network, now has over 2,300 eircom WiFiHub hotspots around the country. Dillon Dental, in New Ross in Wexford was recently WiFiHub enabled making it the 2,300th eircom WiFiHub hotspot. Eircom also revealed some key statistics around usage and locations for its WiFiHub service.

Despite being Ireland's most popular website, with 1.6 billion page impressions in 2012, RTE still can't turn a profit from its digital activities, writes Nick Mulcahy.

FEXCO, Google and the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association are hosting a workshop for SMEs at Google's HQ in Dublin on Monday September 22.

Revenue issued an e-brief this week, asking child-minders to familiarise themselves with their filing requirements. Tax relief is available for eligible child-minders whose income from the service does not exceed €15,000 in a tax year.


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