Building Your Business
Business Owners asked to apply for business support through PLATO EBR

12 April 2013

Sole Traders, Micro - Enterprises and SMEs across Armagh City and District came together at PLATO EBR’s breakfast briefing at the Market Place Theatre on Thursday (11 April).  Armagh City and District Councillor Gerald Mallon, Chairman of East Border Region Ltd. welcomed businesses to the event.  He commented “PLATO EBR is a valuable resource for businesses in our district to utilise.  Armagh City and District Council is one of ten council areas open for applications from the business community.  Now is the time to submit your application to PLATO EBR for business development support through the programme.  We want businesses from across the district to ask for assistance through PLATO EBR which is part financed by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Cross Border Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.”


At the breakfast briefing Dr. Cecilia Hegarty (PLATO EBR Director) and Rhonda McDowell (Network Manager) were delighted to be joined by group Co-ordinator for Armagh City and District, Stephen Friel and local business woman Kathy Cassidy of Caspac based in Armagh District.  Kathy, as guest speaker shared with businesses in attendance her experience of PLATO as a past and present programme participant.  Kathy commented “Like you I attended an information event, I hadn’t heard about PLATO and didn’t know what to expect.  The support received has been invaluable to me and the business.  The assistance and advice given has been tremendous and it is because of this that Caspac has returned to PLATO EBR and signed up once again to the current programme.  The PLATO model is one set by the businesses, its closed confidential forum is vital to its success.  Ultimately the support is there for businesses to take advantage of.  I’ve learned as a participant that PLATO is what you make it.  It’s your agenda, your business, your programme and you that will reap the benefits.”  


PLATO EBR is dedicated to the successful development of SMEs providing support and assistance to Sole Traders, Micro – Enterprises and SME owner / managers where they can tackle the challenges and issues of today’s dynamic entrepreneurial world.  PLATO EBR creates a confidential and safe learning environment to assist business owner / managers develop effective business strategies, solutions and opportunities through a series of business support mechanisms.  Business owner / managers are invited to join one of 16 business groups being set up across the East Border Region.


Rhonda McDowell, PLATO Network Manager stated “PLATO EBR is open to one person businesses through to those employing up to 250 people, across all areas of commercial activity.  Places are part financed but are limited. We encourage you to pass this information on to your wider business network.  We want as many Businesses in Armagh City and District and neighbouring districts to participate on this part financed programme. We invite all interested business owner / managers to contact the PLATO team”.   For more information about PLATO EBR or to apply for support contact Rhonda McDowell, Network Manager on +353 (0) 47 81975, +353 (0) 86 022 7232 or email .  For more information about PLATO EBR or to download an application form visit the PLATO EBR website 

Pictured at the Breakfast Briefing in Armagh are:

Guest Speaker Kathy Cassidy, Caspac alongside Cllr Gerald Mallon, EBR Chairman.  

Business owner/managers with PLATO Staff, Dr Cecilia Hegarty (PLATO EBR Director), Rhonda McDowell (PLATO EBR Network Manager, maternity cover) alongside Stephen Friel group co-ordinator for Armagh District and Cllr Gerald Mallon (EBR).  Photographs supplied by Liam McAdrle.

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