The Space @ Market Square

Plans nearing completion for the opening of The Space@MarketSquare on Saturday 8th September 2022.

The initiative is the brainchild of Dungannon Enterprise Centre to increase the footfall to the Dungannon town centre. Made from recycled steel shipping containers and painted in pastel colours, The Space@MarketSquare is a semi-outdoor venue made to hold a market, or public event such as a pop-up cinema, street food, festival, open air fashion show, a busking concert or comedy festival – in fact, it is only limited to your imagine. It is located at the top of the Market Square in Dungannon and next to the Council’s  Feeney’s Lane Carpark with over 100 parking spaces.

Spread over a 4000sq.ft site rented from Mid Ulster Council, The Space@MarketSquare can comfortably hold 13 exhibitors and 100+ seated guests.

The front of the containers are all open, which means that exhibitors may have to remove their merchandise at the end of every day, however there is a 6 ft high perimeter fence controlling access to the front and rear of the site.

There is a pedestrian gate at the entrance from the Market Square and a 4-meter-wide gate at the rear entrance from the carpark, to allow vehicle access. The central area is a compacted gravel finished surface with outdoor tables, chairs and 3 large rain resistant canopies, which can be manually raised or lowered depending upon the weather conditions.

Each container is fitted with LED lighting and electric sockets. The overhanging rain canopies on each container are draped with festoon lighting to create a festival atmosphere.

CEO of Dungannon Enterprise Centre, Brian MacAuley said “The Space@MarketSquare is an initiative of Dungannon Enterprise Centre with the primary mission to increase the footfall and visitors to the town centre of Dungannon. Many retailers are finding the trading environment very difficult even more now with the ‘cost of living’ crisis and energy costs eroding any profits. It is our hope that TheSpace@MarketSquare will serve as constantly changing attraction to the town centre and intrigue curious shoppers and families to visit.”

To book the venue or to find out more email mandy@dungannonenterprise.com or

phone 028 8772 3489 and ask for either Brian or Mandy

We can all see that Dungannon town centre, like many other towns, is suffering from lack of shoppers and visitors. In an effort to increase the footfall to the town,  Dungannon Enterprise Centre is embarking on an new venture to accommodate people who would like to run a street market or an event. Over July this year work will start to build a new semi-permanent venue to house all types of events and markets. Made from recycled steel containers, the open plan trading units will be located on Council land next to Feeney’s Lane Carpark at the top of Market Square.

We are now looking for entrepreneurs who would like to run events that would bring footfall to the town.

If you want to know more click the link and watch our short video.

To contact us on the initiative email:

feeneyslane@dungannonenterprise.com

2021, like 2020, was overshadowed by the COVID 19. However, despite of the pandemic, and the changes as a result of BREXIT, the mid ulster economy managed surprisingly well through 2021.

Businesses  so far have coped well the changes as a result of BREXIT and the NI protocol, however, the uncertainty remains a concern.

The last year has seen a change in the way we do business now - flexible and hybrid working has become the norm and is likely to stay in the future.

Businesses have seen shopping online becoming the model. This will continue to have a negative impact upon our town centre and may result in further shops closing down if they are not supported.

Where Facebook was the dominant social media platform, consumers have migrated towards other platforms such as Instagram and Tic Toc.

Local manufacturers in engineering and food sectors will continue to face real problems recruiting staff and this will continue in 2022.  Small businesses will also face the same problem as a result of the large employers attracting workers with better financial packages and incentives.

Skilled workers, particularly in the building sector, will become scarce due to the lack of apprentices and young people pursuing a career in the sector and the attractive opportunities in the Republic.

Many people have taken 2021 to review their career path - some have taken early retirement, some such in the hospitality and education sectors have changed their career paths and moved to other jobs. It will be interesting to see how this will impact the entertainment and hospitality sectors in 2022.

Lockdowns and video conferencing has taught us that we are social animals and that we need face to face interaction to do business well. At the same time more businesses now realise how easy it is to do business worldwide and people are more reluctant to do unnecessary travelling

Start up businesses in mid ulster remained high over 2021 and is forecasted to do so in 2022. Self- employment as a career option is still seen as an attractive option for local people.

An unknown factor  is the hidden emotional and mental trauma the pandemic has had on our local community, however overall I would be optimistic about 2022. We are coming out of 'stormy waters' and a feeling of relief will sweep across our community in the short-term. There is a lot of rebuilding ahead but at the same time there is the enthusiasm to start.

Who hasn’t heard the phrase “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t”? CHANGE is as inevitable as the sun rising in the morning, and yet there is an inexplicable fear of change in all of us. There is a belief in some businesses owners that ‘doing nothing’ is a real option. Maybe in the short term it is but, in the medium and certainly in the long term, the environment around will have changed and it becomes all the harder to adapt.

Take for instance technology changes and how they have changed our way of doing business. Our tech-habits have seen leaps and bounds in the last 10 years– for better or worse – dominating the decade and the way in which we live. Anyone who owns an iPhone or similar device finds it hard to imagine life without it. Indeed, it’s hard for younger people to imagine the world before mobile phones. Every day we watch hundreds of millions of hours’ worth of You Tube content, generating billions of views. Our food both cooked and provisions can be delivered to our doorstep and bought online. All these things we take for granted now but CHANGE has crept in over the last decade. Likewise, in the commercial world, Dungannon businesses buy and sell online, communicate via superfast broadband and do much of their banking online. Tools such as 3D printers,  Zoom, Google Maps and Cloud based storage to name a few are in daily use.

Ten years ago, the idea of a space travel holiday was reserved for science fiction. Incredibly now entrepreneur Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors has this year successfully launched the first all-civilian space flight, opening up the possibility for consumers to travel to the moon - ordinary citizens becoming astronauts!

What does the future hold for payment in stores? We already have contactless payment, and payments using your mobile phone. Maybe retinal scanners used for authentication and identification purposes, could they also be used to take payment in stores or even online?

The truth is we don’t know for sure exactly what the next 10 years will hold for us. The only certainty is that CHANGE will happen and businesses should now be asking themselves “which group are they in”? - the group that say “Let’s make things happen”, or the group that say “watch what’s happening”, or the last group that say “what the hell just happened!”. Don’t just sit there - do something! There is nothing wrong with CHANGE. It can be a good thing – if you use it.

Eileen FitzgeraldIt is with much regret that we have to share the sad news that Eileen Fitzgerald, the Enterprise Centre’s Account’s Officer for 30 years, passed away peacefully on Monday 1 February 2021 after battling a with a long term illness.

She had only recently celebrated her 30th anniversary at Dungannon Enterprise Centre and was the first employee of the organisation.

Board members, work colleagues and tenants, both past and present, will remember Eileen as a dedicated and hard-working employee, loyal to the Enterprise Centre and devoted to her family. Eileen set an example of how to live life, despite the physical and mental pressures of a long term illness.

We send our condolences to her husband Pat, her son Michael and extended family.

Project Officer  

Responsible to the Business Development Manager

Fixed 2 year Contract: Ending 01 January 2023

Hours of work: 37.5 hours per week

MAIN DUTIES

  • Work in partnership with the Business Development Manager to implement European Union projects that DEC is currently involved.
  • Oversee the budget of the projects and undertake the financial management and promotion of the initiatives.
  • Attend transnational project meetings as and when required.
  • Provide high level administrative support to assist the management and delivery of a range of other projects within the Business and Enterprise department.
  • Research and develop initiatives that will assist established businesses grow.
  • Carry out all reasonable requests of the Business Development Manager in order to ensure the efficient running of Dungannon Enterprise Centre.

 

Essential Criteria

  • Third level qualification in a business-related subject
  • Minimum 3-years’ experience in financial administration
  • Minimum 3-years’ experience in either a project management or administration role
  • Applicant can demonstrate that he/she is skilled at entrepreneurial thinking
  • Applicant must have excellent report writing skills and verbal skills
  • Applicant can demonstrate that they can use his/her initiative and are self confident
  • The successful applicant must be available for travel throughout Europe and have a full clean driving license and access to a car for work.

 

Desirable Criteria

  • An accountancy or finance qualification or currently working towards one.
  • A practical working knowledge of small businesses and their operations
  • Experience working with organisations outside of Northern Ireland

 

Remuneration

The post is a fixed term contract to 01 January 2023 but may have potential for extension.

Gross Salary £24,000 - £32,000

3 month probationary period

Please request an Application Form from & send alongside your CV to toni@dungannonenterprise.com

Closing Date: Tuesday 8th December 2020 1pm

For many people the word “Networking” creates a feeling of anxiety, dread & even nausea! It has connotations of vast rooms full of people mingling around (pre-Covid) & introducing themselves to complete strangers whilst trying to promote themselves & their business ventures. Business cards are flying through the air with promises of coffee & “touching base” as masses of people work the room……

However, thankfully this is not really the case! Even with lockdown restrictions, rules around gatherings & event cancellations, Networking has changed dramatically in the last couple of years.

Many people taking the first steps into self-employment ask for advice on how to get their name out there and start promoting themselves. It’s a natural thing to assume that because you’ve taken the big decision to launch your own business, then everyone naturally knows about it and knows what you’re doing. NEWSFLASH – Apart from maybe family & friends – no-one knows!!!

In order to get your business out into the market it’s going to take more hard work and dedication and a lot of promotion. This is where Networking can become your best friend.

So what exactly is it?? Networking provides an opportunity for business owners to exchange ideas and information with other traders and business people from their local area or business sector. It also offers an opportunity to meet potential clients, suppliers and business partners. Building relationships with other business people in this way is also an important activity for every business owner's personal development.

For many people, the ultimate purpose of networking is to generate new business by finding
potential new business partners and obtaining word-of-mouth referrals, recommendations and
introductions. However, networking can also help to:

• Share or learn about new ideas & concepts.
• Find out what competitors are up to.
• Gather general or specific industry information.
• Get help with any issues or problems you face, from people with appropriate knowledge and experience.
• Keep up to date with new industry developments, regulations and policies.
• Form relationships with potential partners.
• Find out about Awards, Grants or funding.
• Make friends with like minded people who support each other.

 

Where to start? So, you’re all geared up and ready to start chatting to people about who you are & what you do…but you’re not quite sure where to find these people! Luckily there are lots of options for getting started & often by dipping your toe in the water & getting involved, you hear of more opportunities & groups that may interest you. Here in Northern Ireland we have a few organisations that we can suggest to help get you on your way :

• Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce
• Federation of Small Business
• Women in Business NI
• Enterprise Northern Ireland
• Young Enterprise NI
• Mums At Work Network

We also recommend that you become familiar with Eventbrite and NI Business Info websites as they are actively promoting online events, webinars & networking opportunities that can be completed online and are great tools to use in the current restricted climate. Its also useful to make contact with your local Enterprise Agency & Council to join their mailing lists & keep abreast of what’s going on locally.

Every week there are opportunities to chat with like minded people who want to promote their products & services as well as encourage each other during these trying times. If you haven’t tried a bit of networking yet – now’s the perfect time, so pluck up the courage, fire up the laptop and give it a go!

When it comes to creating & growing a successful business there is no magic formula or “quick fix” for instant success, however there are certain things you can do to give yourself the best possible chance.

The new business owners we meet on a daily basis usually have numerous goals when they're starting out, mainly growth and recognition for their fledgling venture, but overnight success isn't guaranteed. However, there are ways to reach growth milestones that can help catapult a business towards a successful level.

Here are some of our top tips ;

Hire the right people ;  Before you can even get stuck in to thinking about the growth & achievement of your business, you need to make sure that you have the right staff employed to help you get there. Ensure that the people you hire understand your vision & are working to the same agenda as you. People who not only take pride in their work, but want to do their best for a Company are vital to your success. Behind every great leader is usually a great team of people all with the same common goals.

Reduce your risks ; Unfortunately Risk is an inevitable part of starting and growing a business. It's simply impossible to control everything, but there are plenty of ways to limit internal and external threats to your company and its growth. Look at opportunities analytically & weigh up the Pro’s & Con’s before settling on a decision, try not to make decisions when you’re under time or financial pressures, engage with other experts who can help you to look at things with a clear head & try to always have some kind of insurance policy in place should things go wrong.

Be adaptable ; One trait that successful start-ups often have in common is the ability to switch directions quickly in response to changes in the market. This is especially important in todays world where restrictions & regulations are changing almost weekly throughout the Covid pandemic. By allowing yourself to adapt and change quickly, you're able to test different approaches to business and find out what works best. This could mean a change in the Products or Services offered to customers. In these situations the words “that’s not what we do here” are the most detrimental words used in a business hoping to grow & adapt.

Focus on your Social Media platforms ; Another method to grow your business is to create profiles on the major social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc) that are relevant & work well for your business. Creating a profile allows you to better market your products & services and interact with far more potential customers. When your business has a Social Media account & is regularly updated (vital) consumers can find your business more easily, and they are likely to share your business with their friends. Try to aim for engagement rather than focus on the number of “Likes” as the more people who will Comment, Save, Tag or Share a post is much better than dormant Likes that never see what you have to offer.

These are just a few suggestions but for more advice or guidance on starting or growing your venture, contact a member of the Team at the Enterprise Centre on 028 8772 3489 or via email info@dungannonenterprise.com

Many people dream about starting their own businesses, based on their own ideas and goals. They try to break free from workplace rules, politics, and all the internal chaos that can limit their growth.

It’s no wonder that the same people desire to have full control over their time and efforts. Starting your own business can sound overwhelming and complicated at first, but if you break it into steps, you’ll just need to take the first big leap of courage, and follow with smaller steps that lead you along your entrepreneurial journey.

Here’s a look at some small & medium business statistics in the UK.

  • At the start of 2020 there were 5.94 million small businesses (with 0 to 49 employees), 99.3% of the total business.

SMEs (Small to Medium sized Enterprises with less than 250 employees) account for 99.9% of the business population (6.0 million businesses in total). The definition of a small business varies across the world. For example, in Australia, companies with fewer than 15 employees are considered a small business, whereas in America a small business is a firm with less than 500 employees.

 

  • Small/Medium Businesses employ 16.8 million people (61% of the total)

With so many small businesses in the UK , it’s no surprise that small businesses generate the majority of jobs. According to the Federation of Small Business, SMEs account for three fifths of the employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector. Employment in small businesses (with 0 to 49 employees) was 13.3 million (48% of the total), with a turnover of £1.6 trillion (36%).

 

  • 64% of the UK workforce wants to set up a business
  • 83% of 18 - 24 year olds dream of self-employment
  • Men are far more confident than women that they’ll start a business

 

There are many reasons why people might be motivated to open their own business. It means that people have the freedom to not only be their own boss, but also the boss of their time. It gives you the freedom to make decisions and work how and when or where you want. In a recent survey carried out by SME Loans they discovered that the prospect of earning more money is the most popular attraction to self-employment, shortly followed by the ability to be your own boss. Working flexible hours and being able to work from home were also popular, appealing to 1 in 3 people in the UK.

 

Unsurprisingly, an increased salary was the most popular factor across the UK. Most motivated by money are those falling within the 18 to 24 bracket. 50% of people of this age group believe that becoming a business mogul will benefit them financially. The 25 to 34 year olds, however, are more concerned about advancing their career, and enticed by the opportunity to travel with work.

Data revealed that women are more attracted to the prospect of being able to work from home, whilst being able to be their own boss appealed to the majority of male participants. 1 in 5 people working in Northern Ireland see starting their own business as the only way to advance their career. It was also interesting to note that over a third (36%) of the UK workforce dislike their current job. This job dissatisfaction is fuelling people to consider taking the leap to quit their job and launch their own business.

 

For anyone thinking of starting their own Business, we offer a range of Courses, Mentoring & help to start-up & grow your business. Contact a member of the Business Development Team for full information.

Now that thousands of professionals in Northern Ireland have proven they’re able to do their jobs remotely, many experts agree it will become more common for people to split their time between working from home and going into an office.

But what will that office look like once they get there? In a post-pandemic economy, it’s possible only the biggest companies will have the budget to maintain headquarters, while businesses without the financial resources may scrap the idea of having an actual physical location altogether. Others may decentralize their physical presence in favour of opening regional hubs wherever their workers are located, whether that’s in our large towns, cities or spread out across the country entirely.

While the future remote workforce is expected to grow, many will still want a place to connect with others in person. Co-working and community spaces are uniquely positioned to fill the void. Prior to the pandemic, co-working spaces were the fastest-growing type of office space in commercial real estate. While they currently comprise of less than 5% of the market, they’re expected to make up  30% by 2030!

In order for Co-Working Companies to continue their expansion in a post Covid world, they’ll have to be designed to address workers’ concerns over spacing and hygiene safety. Desks & seating will be further apart & users will expect a certain level of cleaning procedures at regular intervals, as well as frequent use of sanitizing products & limited numbers of people. Environments that are attuned to keeping members healthy and safe will prove more popular than those unlikely to keep on top of good hygiene practice.  With these precautions in place, I think that workers will be more likely to leave their home offices for a work environment that offers more than just desk space.

People will always need a place to connect, to work alongside like-minded professionals in a safe environment allowing them to work efficiently & undisturbed away from the kitchen table or the home office. Many people require a sense of routine & that feeling of “going out to work” which is difficult to establish when working within your own home. During lockdown many people realised just how isolated they felt without that staff or team feeling that they were accustomed to in their usual office environment. That feeling of isolation has encouraged many to seek out alternative options for remote working.

At Dungannon Enterprise Centre we are very aware of the changing environment that many workers face and the demand locally, for a Co-Working space where people can be productive in a shared environment. We have just finished work on our new Co-work Space - The Bureau and we are looking forward to welcoming our new clients in the days & weeks ahead.

For further information on The Bureau please contact Toni at Dungannon Enterprise Centre on 028 8772 3489 or via email at toni@dungannonenterprise.com

CHANGE – an act or process through which something becomes different.

Sometimes it feels like the only topic of conversation these days is centred around COVID-19/Coronavirus. Unfortunately though, as we all know it’s a difficult one to avoid and with this week seeing the last remaining pupils entering back in through the school gates, the debate goes on!

Whilst its great to witness a new sense of “normality” for our young folk – be it inclusive of temperature checks, masks & bubbles seemingly floating everywhere, we are experiencing a slightly different normal in our business sector.

It goes without saying that the pandemic has had a devastating impact on our society and economy, & as the initial shock is beginning to wear off, it is evident that a lot of thought has been given to the style of economy in which we hope to re-emerge. The much talked of “V-Shape” recovery (a steep decline followed by a sharp recovery) hasn’t quite been the case, despite queues at shops suggesting that consumers are keen to spend after months of being kept indoors. Upon entering Lockdown, the Government had hoped for an almost deep freeze effect where businesses would simply pick up where they left off after the economical thaw, however things have changed after the past 6 months & more changes are emerging.

Both behaviours & practices have changed and businesses are experiencing this when it comes to serious issues like property, travel, communication and training. Online platforms like ZOOM, MS Teams and Facetime have proven that people don’t need to travel all over the Country (or indeed World) for meetings & conventions. Customers can be dealt with via email or phonecall & sales executives can still sell from their kitchen table.

The necessity for online retail giants like Currys/PC World and IKEA to be able to produce large amounts of laptops, printers & home office equipment shows the volume of people who are continuing their roles very seriously – but from home. Industry experts are already suggesting that our Cities could see huge changes in property & buildings and a glut of empty offices in future as companies downsize their need for space as the work from home habit takes root. Soon plans for new houses will emerge from architects offices with rooms labelled “Office” being just as important as the kitchen or bedroom!

Here in Northern Ireland the Executive has been urged to work towards helping businesses bring back the safe return of office staff after a survey by Belfast Chamber reported that just 5% of office workers in the city centre are now back at their desks. But what if we can never get back to the way things were Pre-Covid? What then?

At Dungannon Enterprise Centre we have noted a trend in recent months suggesting that the pandemic is also responsible for a surge in innovation & a desire for change and are doing our best to provide for this. Our Business Development Team are talking to individuals daily who want help and advice for some of their ideas & inventions. Our Exploring Enterprise Course starts next week and offers advice and mentoring to anyone hoping to increase working hours, change jobs or consider the self-employment route (there are still some slots available for anyone interested). We have launched “Evolve Dungannon” our business incubation programme, where a unit to operate your business from is combined with mentoring & guidance designed to help your business grow in the current climate. Plans are also in place for our new Co-Working Centre offering office space & conference/meeting facilities to meet demand for those who no longer require an office building or bespoke premises.

Indeed if anything Covid has helped abolish the old phrase that can kill off progress “we’ve always done it that way” and now we look towards “ a change is as good as a rest” as we re-evaluate, re-build & re-cover!

For information on any support or property available at DEC please contact us directly.

With news last night that Marks & Spencer are the latest high street store to announce major job cuts, it’s a worrying time for retailers on our small Island. Around 300 jobs are thought to be at risk at Marks & Spencer's Northern Ireland Stores as the dramatic impact of Covid-19 on the retail sector deepens.

M&S has around 2,800 staff here, where it opened its first store 53 years ago. The growing trend of working from home is thought to be a major influencing factor as footfall declines in city centre locations. With large numbers of office workers no longer around to pop into nearby stores to purchase lunch, groceries & other items the tills are a lot quieter these days.

However, in the midst of all this it has been reported that footfall in Northern Ireland's high streets increased by nearly 6% in the days following the introduction of mandatory face coverings. Are people more confident to venture out now that the majority of consumers are wearing masks? Face coverings became mandatory for shoppers in Northern Ireland last Monday, August 10 after weeks of speculation & debate about their effectiveness. The recent high street stats are encouraging but it’s the coming weeks that will really tell the tale.

According to the recent report by retail information service Springboard, the increase of 5.7% from Sunday to Friday last week off-set a bigger drop of 6.1% in footfall at shopping centres, with retail parks down 0.6% week-on-week. In total, across all Northern Ireland retail destinations footfall was up 2.7% week-on-week, compared to growth of just 0.8% across the UK as a whole.
However, a yearly comparison reveals that footfall is down by 23.2% in Northern Ireland across all retail types, compared to August 9 to August 15 last year.

With our high streets suffering during the COVID pandemic now more than ever it’s important to shop local. High Street stores & multinationals employ local people and play a huge part in our Community as many not only offer employment, but also support our Clubs & organisations through fundraising & donations. With the new guidance around face coverings & most businesses supplying sanitization stations at the entrance, shoppers should feel more confident in the days & weeks ahead.

The Government back “Eat Out to Help Out” Scheme is reporting that diners availed of the discounts over 10.5 million times within the first week, again showing a keenness to venture out again after months of limited movement for the majority of people. With many local restauranteurs calling for the scheme to be extended into September in order to help them claw back trade lost during lockdown, its clear that the HMRC incentive has had a positive effect on the businesses who opted in.

For any business owners needing advice on current legislation, provision of PPE and how to protect customers & staff – please contact the Business Team at Dungannon Enterprise Centre on 028 8772 3489. Further information can also be found at nibusinessinfo.co.uk

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