NEW BUSINESS ASSOCIATION COLLECTIVE ANNOUNCED FOR CORK CITY AND COUNTY

A new collective of business associations for all parts of Cork City and County has been announced. Established by Little Island Business Association which has operated as the representative business organisation for the 1,000 plus companies in Little Island for close to 10 years and which is Cork’s and Ireland South’s largest business district. The new collective is a not for profit initiative and includes a total of eight independent business associations in key districts and areas of Cork City and County and will be known as Cork’s Business Channel. The collective will see the establishment of Cork Northside Business Association (www.cnba.ie), Cork Southside Business Association (www.csba.ie), West Cork Business Association (www.wcba.ie), East Cork Business Association (www.ecba.ie), North Cork Business Association (www.ncba.ie) in addition to the development  of Cork Docklands Business Association (www.cdba.ie) and Ringaskiddy Business Association (www.rbai.ie) which were established in 2015 in advance of the infrastructural and state investment in these areas.

The CEO of Little Island Business Association and Cork’s Business Channel Michael Mulcahy said “this is something we have been working on for the past six years since Cork Docklands Business Association and Ringaskiddy Business Association were established originally. In 2015 we were asked by business owners in Cork Docklands to establish a similar business organisation to Little Island Business Association that would represent their area in anticipation of the State investment in the critical infrastructure for the near 400 acre area that was needed to see its development fully embraced. In March 2021 the Government announced a €355m investment package for Cork Docklands. Cork Docklands Business Association will now launch fully and provide its full range of services for the local community. Also in 2015 we were asked by business owners in Ringaskiddy to establish a business organisation that would represent their area in anticipation of the investment in the critical infrastructure for the relocation of the Port of Cork to Ringaskiddy and the advancement of the €220m M28 motorway from Cork to Ringaskiddy.

In 2020 and 2021, both of these elements were advanced fully and Ringaskiddy Business Association will now launch fully and provide its full range of services for the local community. In 2018 we were asked by business owners in the Blackpool, Hollyhill, Glanmire and Blarney on the Northside of Cork City to establish a similar business organisation to Little Island Business Association that would represent their area and promote it for better infrastructure, better investment and better facilities as many new areas were joining Cork city as part of the extension of the city boundary. Cork Northside Business Association will now provide its services for the local community. In 2020 a number of business owners in other areas approached us with requests for business associations to be established for their areas and to operate, be included and benefit as part of the collective. It was agreed that Cork Southside Business Association, North Cork Business Association, West Cork Business Association and East Cork Business Association would also established so as to be fully inclusive of all parts of Cork City and County. With 45,000 businesses, 265,000 employees in those businesses and a population of over 540,000 people that is expected to grow to 1m by 2040, every part of Cork City and County being represented by its own business association and being part of the collective model for all parts of Cork City and County will be hugely beneficial for every business and area that is part of it. For the past ten years Little Island Business Association has promoted the area to business people, investors and brands in the business, retail, banking and other sectors and while we have been very successful in our efforts, there has been many times when other areas have won new investment over Little Island for different reasons. We have always said that while we would love to see new investment coming to Little Island, if it doesn’t and goes to another part of Cork City or County then we are equally happy with this and that is why having this new model and brand of Cork’s Business Channel will make the future efforts of promoting all parts of Cork even more satisfying”.

The President of Little Island Business Association and Cork’s Business Channel, John Minihan said “I am delighted to see this new collective coming to life and I see enormous benefit for each of the areas that will have its own business association to represent it and to fight for its interests, and the shared model of collaboration that will now exist for all parts of Cork City and County will benefit each of these organisations . When you see what has been achieved by Little Island Business Association in and for Little Island over the past ten years in terms of infrastructure, facilities, investment and promotion, you can see that by replicating this model for each of the other areas will bring prominence and benefit to them. Of course everything is a work in progress and there is never a point when you can say that everything has been achieved for an area so it is crucial that you have a voice and a model that is dedicated to the interests of an area and then to Cork overall. In establishing these additional seven business associations we will appoint a Members Council with representation from each of the eight areas so that every area has a strong voice at the table of Cork’s Business Channel. Cork is poised for exponential growth over the next twenty years and I believe that whether it is North, South East or West Cork or the Northside or Southside of Cork City, every area needs strong representation that will promote it and fight for its future and ensure that it gets its fair share of investment and opportunity. Above all, future development of any area should only be about what is good for an area, its residents and its business community”.