Friday last saw over thirty providers of business finance converge on Wexford County Hall to exhibit at the South East Business Finance Expo.
The event, which was the first of its kind in the South East, was organised by Wexford Chamber of Commerce to address the access to finance problem which is so prevalent amongst Irish SMEs at present.
While a recent Central Bank Survey indicated that 39% of SMEs considered access to finance to be a ‘high concern’, the business finance landscape in Ireland has been overhauled, with the emergence of independent finance providers in the market creating new funding opportunities for SMEs. Therefore, the South East Business Finance Expo provided a unique platform, from which business owners could gain knowledge about the full spectrum of finance options that are now available to them.
Over 250 business people from across the region attended the event and were able to discuss their specific finance requirements with the pillar banks, independent finance providers and state agencies. The attendees, which comprised of start-up entrepreneurs, established business owners and accountancy firms, who were looking to educate themselves about the evolving finance market, were impressed by the range of exhibitors, with many saying that they were unaware of many of the providers operating within the business finance sector.
The feedback from the exhibitors was equally complimentary as they felt that they were presented with solid business cases to support the specific funding requests of attendees. It was estimated that the total demand for funding on the day was in excess of €10,000,000.
Speaking about the success of the event, which was sponsored by Wexford County Council, the President of Wexford Chamber, Karl Fitzpatrick, said “Wexford Chamber was delighted to facilitate this event for the local business community and we are confident that it will be the catalyst for the injection of millions of euro into the local economy, which will in turn, create hundreds of jobs for the people of the South East”.