North-east SMEs urged to rise to e-commerce challenge

15 Feb 2013

There are close to 1,400 businesses in the north-eastern Irish county of Monaghan but according to proponents of digital business from the area, the uptake is seriously low.

From 4pm on Wednesday, 27 February, at the Nuremore Hotel in Carrickmacross, broadcaster and journalist Richard Curran will host a free conference organised by the Irish Internet Association, Monaghan County Enterprise Board and Monaghan County Council to inform business owners and drive them in the direction of digital.

Speakers will include Ciaran Crean of MicksGarage, Paul Bond of Brix Workwear, Claire Cunningham from Monaghan IT Forum and Aura Internet, Roger Willcocks from Screen Pages, and Laura Morgan Walsh, a senior group leader at PayPal.

“There are 1,376 businesses registered in Monaghan yet the take-up of e-commerce is minuscule,” said John Harrington, a technology manager at AIB and one of the event’s organisers.

“What firms need to realise is the barriers to entry to opening an online store are substantially less than opening a physical bricks-and-mortar premises and it’s free from headaches, like upward-only rent reviews.

“The whole argument for Irish firms to go online is a no-brainer,” he said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years