Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) across Ireland have created 7,870 new jobs in 2022 alone, with 148 new jobs created in Kildare, according to a Fine Gael TD and Minister Martin Heydon.

Minister Heydon said: “LEOs play a hugely important role in supporting small businesses across the country, from mentorship and advice to providing loans and grants, their support is invaluable.

“With 148 jobs created in county Kildare in 2022 by Kildare LEO supported businesses, it is clear that the expertise and assistance LEOs provide to Irish SMEs is working.

“This marks the ninth consecutive year of job growth for LEO supported businesses and a 10% increase on 2021.

“LEOs support a total of 37,863 jobs across the country, including 1297 in Kildare.

“This is a huge achievement given the difficulties businesses in Kildare have faced over the past few years, from the Covid-19 pandemic to Brexit and now the resulting impact of the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis.

“Fine Gael in Government is committed to supporting businesses through these difficult periods. Through LEO supports and the TBESS scheme to assist with rising costs, help is available for those who need it.

“I would encourage every small business owner in Kildare to engage with Kildare LEO office to see what supports they can avail of.

“The Trading Online Voucher Scheme will help businesses move online and the Green for Micro programme advises businesses on the first steps towards sustainability, with mentorship programmes also available – there are supports for all small businesses available through the LEO network.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and with the expansion of the remit of LEOs to support SMEs of up to 50 employees, more companies will be able to benefit from their expertise.

“Fine Gael is the party of employment and business, and with a record 2.5 million people at work in Ireland we are certainly delivering on our word.

“You can trust Fine Gael in Government to deliver on supporting businesses, creating good quality, secure jobs. We are working hard to ensure that there are opportunities for good jobs in every part of Ireland for everyone who wants one,” Minister Heydon concluded.