ISME CEO Mark Fielding will be offering his business acumen in Waterford this Friday morning.

ISME CEO Mark Fielding will be offering his business acumen in Waterford this Friday morning.

The immediate economic future is all about survival. This sentiment will form the centrepiece of a workshop which the Irish Small and Medium Enterprise Association (ISME) and Irish Exporters Association (IEA) will hold in Dooley’s Hotel this Friday (cost: €10).

Commencing at 9.30am, the workshop will, according to its organisers, “deliver an essential morning workshop to show small business how they can face these challenges and turn them into opportunities”.

ISME Chief Executive Mark Fielding elaborated. “Forty per cent of companies are reducing employment numbers and six out of 10 companies are less confident about business prospects,” he said.

“In this current climate, when sales and order books at their lowest in years and the Minister for Finance is more interested in bailing out banks and big builders than supporting the small businesses which are the backbone of the economy. It’s time for small businesses to take action to survive.”

Mr Fielding will present ‘Small Business in a Cold Climate’ a discussion which will deal with the essential steps that your business needs to take to get ready for what’s been tagged “the next phase of the Celtic Tiger”.

In the second part of the morning workshop the ISME team will deal with one of the major challenges that small businesses face via the ‘Employment Obligations of Small Business’.

However, the challenges facing businesses are not all threats in the view of Joe Lynch, President of the Irish Exporters Association.

“Ireland is now ranked as the eight easiest country to trade with,” he pointed out. Given the reduced level of red tape that Irish companies have to deal with, such a competitive advantage can provide sales growth for small Irish companies through export markets.

At the ‘Changes, Challenges and Opportunities’ workshop, IEA Chief Executive John Whelan will present ‘Sales Growth in the Downturn through Export Markets‘.

This shall outline the opportunities that export offers for small business growth at a time when the domestic market is challenging.

During the morning-long workshop, there will be several experts on hand, which shall include holding employment law clinics and advising on the training requirements of SMEs.

For further information, call Waterford City Enterprise Board on 051-852883 or email