The event, organised by PLATO East Border Region, provided small and medium sized enterprises with the opportunity to discover how they can form links with other businesses to increase trade and competitiveness.
One of the key benefits of joining a PLATO networking group is the chance to interact with larger businesses and to use their expertise and experience in decision-making about future planning and growth.
Chair of Ards Borough Council’s Development Committee, Robert Gibson, said: “In an economic climate that continues to be tough, the PLATO breakfast event provided a valuable forum for local companies to learn more about the benefits of joining a PLATO Network group. These benefits include the chance to work with other successful companies and form mutually beneficial links, as well as the opportunity to glean trade lessons from larger organisations. Local traders can then use this knowledge to help their business grow and thrive despite the downturn.”
Part funded through the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Cross Border Programme, PLATO has been in existence in Ireland since the late 1990s, most recently in counties Monaghan, Armagh, Louth and Cork, where experiences have been positive with many companies joining forces to implement new and improved business ideas.
The PLATO programme was officially launched at the end of last year and its activities span the ten Council areas of Newry and Mourne, Down and Banbridge District Councils, Armagh City and District Council, Craigavon, Ards and North Down Borough Councils in Northern Ireland and Louth Monaghan and Meath Councils and Louth and Monaghan County Enterprise Boards in the Republic of Ireland.
Small and medium sized enterprises interested in enhancing their personal business network to develop and grow competitively, should contact a member of the Plato team, Tel: +353 (0) 47 81975,
Businesses from across Ards and North Down Borough Councils attended a breakfast networking and information event, at the SIGNAL Centre of Business Excellence, North Down Borough Council, Bangor, on 28 March.