Our City, Our Future 

Learning from International Experience Webinar


Cork City Council has started the process of preparation of the City Development Plan.  A vitally important document that will form the backbone of  the near future of Cork City. The first phase of consultation is open until 21st August.

To get some international expertise on the subject of city planning, Cork City Council is hosting a webinar Thursday the 23rd of July at 7 pm.

The intention is to bring an international perspective to the conversation, with insights from Professor Wulf Daseking of Freiburg, a city in Germany of similar size to Cork and Andreas Markedes an internationally renowned transport planner.

Go to Eventbrite to register.


Shop Cork Online

Shop Online Cork

With the recent news that all non-essential shops and retail outlets must close to help the containment of Covid19 or Coronavirus, we, at Cork Business Association, are determined to offer support to those local businesses offering online shopping options. Just because you can't go to the shop yourself, doesn't mean you can't shop local! 

On Social Media channels use hashtag #shopcorkonline and help customers find you. #corkcity #cork #shoplocal #shoponline #socialdistance

Check back here for updates on who's offering online services and products or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or contact us here. We're here to help. We may not be in the office but we're only an email, tweet, phone call away!

Shop Cork Online! Some Local Shops Selling Online:

For everything you need from groceries to toys, fan club merchandise to Irish crafts, wine and bubbles to olives and paté, and even a bit of culture we've got you covered locally! Who needs the big corporations when you can support your own neighbours, friends, and communities.

(Check back later for more as we update!)






Vibes and Scribes














Lilly Cotton Bedlinen Online Shop


Cork Business of the Year Awards 2019 launched

Enter for free online by midnight 13th of January in any of the 13 exciting and diverse business categories and you could be celebrating at the President’s Dinner in Cork’s Vienna Woods on Saturday 22nd February 2020 with fellow stars of the Cork Business scene!

Entries now open for the CBA’s
Cork Business of the Year Awards 2019

New Digital award launched!

Cork Business Association (CBA) has launched their annual 'Cork Business of the Year Awards 2019’, in partnership with awards sponsor JCD, event partner AIB and media partner The Irish Examiner, to recognise the outstanding contribution of businesses and individuals working diligently across varied sectors of business in Cork City and its environs.

Your business could be set for stardom in February 2020, as entrants not only have the chance to win individual award categories but they could also be named the overall ‘Cork Business of the Year.’

The 13 award categories for 2019 include:

  • Best New Business in Cork, sponsored by LEO Cork City
    • Open to all businesses that have been founded or are new to Cork since 1st January 2017. Entrants will be asked to explain their business and to demonstrate how they have translated a great idea into a viable and successful business venture. They will also be asked to outline their plans for the future.


  • Best Cork Family Business, sponsored by Musgrave
    • Open to all family owned and run businesses in the greater Cork city area. Your business must be managed by family members and you must be able to demonstrate the involvement of at least two generations of family members who are working in the business.


  • Best Cork Hotel, sponsored by Kings Laundry
    • The Best Hotel award acknowledges excellence in service and accommodation. Entrants will demonstrate high class, flawless service in a comfortable, quality establishment, while both meeting and exceeding guest expectations, and how they have helped to promote Cork as a destination nationally and internationally.


  • Best Cork Restaurant, sponsored by The English Market
    • The best Restaurant award acknowledges excellence in quality, service, price and ambiance. Entrants will demonstrate high standards in food quality, cost, efficiency, customer service, imagination, attention to detail, marketing and how well the establishment functions as a business.


  • Best Cork Café, sponsored by The English Market
  • The best Café award will recognize excellence in customer service, business innovation, premises ambiance and atmosphere. Entrants will demonstrate high standards in food quality, cost, efficiency, imagination, attention to detail, marketing and how they have raised the profile of their business in this ever increasingly competitive sector.


  • Best Cork VFI Pub, sponsored by Vintners Federation Cork
    • The award for Best Cork Pub will be awarded to the pub that, in the opinion of the judges, demonstrates ‘best in class’ in the areas of innovation, creativity, ambiance, operational excellence and customer service.  Open to VFI Members only.


  • Best Cork Retail Business, sponsored by Cork City Council
    • The best Cork Retail Business will be awarded to the business that routinely strives for the highest standards across a number of key metrics such as customer service, value, visual merchandising, premises maintenance, marketing, and adaptability. High standards are particularly important given the very severe challenges currently facing Ireland’s retail industry. It is critical that the retail industry plays its part in consistently improving its offering to attract more customers, keep retail workers in jobs and simultaneously keep Cork city centre vibrant which in turn will re-engage citizens and customers alike.


  • Best Professional Services Business
    • This category is open to all businesses that provide a professional business service in the greater Cork city area. They include banking, legal, accounting, HR, recruitment, PR, marketing, architects, financial advisers, engineers, consultants, training providers, strategic advice etc. They can be any organisation or profession that offers customised, knowledge-based services to clients. Entrants must be able to explain what their professional business service is and demonstrate their commitment to customer service excellence within their particular service provided.


  • Best Tourism Art Event, sponsored by IHF Cork
    • This award is designed to recognise and reward an organisation, attraction, business or event that has excelled in tourism, contributing to growing tourist numbers and /or the visitor experience in Cork.


  • Best Cork Digital Business
  • This award will be presented to a company or organisation that can practically demonstrate how they have embraced the digital age and built their company around, or adapted their business strategy to adopt, a more future focused, digitally powered approach. This category is open to all businesses, regardless of their stage in the business life-cycle. 
  • Cork Business of the Year, medium category, sponsored by JCD and the Irish Examiner
    • This award honours and acknowledges a business that has contributed or promoted the enhancement of the commercial, cultural, or civic life in Cork city. This award is open to all medium sized businesses irrespective of Category.


  • Cork Business of the Year, large category, sponsored by JCD and the Irish Examiner
    • This award honours and acknowledges a business that has contributed or promoted the enhancement of the commercial, cultural, or civic life in Cork city. This award is open to all large businesses irrespective of Category. 


  • The Champion of Cork Award, sponsored by Cork Institute of Technology (CIT)
    • The Champion of Cork Award was created to praise, honour and recognise a Corkonian whom we believe has made a real difference to Cork and its people, be it through driving business, their contribution to the arts, their charitable work, their efforts in developing our city or their passion and drive for promoting all things Cork.

The Cork Business Association is celebrating 62 years in business this year, and the organisation’s Cork Business of the Year Awards are always a highlight for local businesses.

Speaking about the awards, Chief Executive of Cork Business Association Lawrence Owens said:

The Cork Business of the Year Awards have grown year on year and are certainly the highlight of Cork Business Association’s calendar. Through these awards, along with our sponsors and partners, the CBA annually seeks to recognise the hard work and good business acumen demonstrated by businesses in Cork.

Last year we recognised some highly notable achievements, with the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival being named the overall winner in the Large Category and McCarthy Insurance in the Medium Category.

We very much look forward to receiving this year’s submissions and would like to encourage all businesses located within the greater Cork city area to consider entering these prestigious awards.

The benefits of being part of the awards process are many, including association with the awards, public recognition for your hard work, plus marketing and networking opportunities. We would also like to sincerely thank all of our sponsors, in particular our awards sponsor JCD, event partner AIB, and media partner The Irish Examiner.

To enter the Cork Business of the Year Awards 2019, your business must be based in the greater

Cork city area or be a current member of the Cork Business Association.

Nominations are open now and entries for all award categories which are FREE to enter should be completed online at http://corkbusiness.ie/cba-cork-business-of-the-year-awards-2019/ following a simple 3 step process no later than midnight December 9th 2019.  An experienced panel of leading business executives will provide independent judging with shortlisting commencing in the New Year.

The awards ceremony, which is a favourite event on Cork's glittering social calendar, will take place at a Black Tie dinner in Cork’s Vienna Woods on Saturday 22nd February 2020.

Tickets are priced at €120 (plus booking fee) and are available to purchase online HERE or direct from the CBA office by calling (021) 427 8295. Tickets include a pre-dinner drinks reception, the Chefs of Cork 4 course dinner; wine, awards presentations, spot prizes and stellar live entertainment.

For more information on Cork Business Association and the 2019 Cork Business of the Year Awards including full detail of categories and how to enter see http://corkbusiness.ie/cba-cork-business-of-the-year-awards-2019/.

Bus Éireann introduce major enhancements in Cork 

Bus Éireann, in conjunction with the National Transport Authority (NTA) are introducing major enhancements in Cork with the introduction of a brand new Route 225 and an enhanced Route 216 service, from this Sunday, November 03rd.

Route 225
These enhancements will be of major benefit to those travelling to and from Cork Airport and for those living in the towns of Haulbowline, Ringaskiddy and Carrigaline in particular.
The new service will operate each day from 0400 until 0030, with the main benefits of the new service including:

Brand new route offering a high frequency service to and from Cork Airport

  • Up to 40 departures every day in each direction
  • Services operating every 30 minutes throughout the day
  • Increased connectivity between Carrigaline and Ringaskiddy
  • Ballygarvan added to the Public Transport Network
  • Low entry, fully accessible vehicles

The new Route 225 service, which is creating an additional 33 jobs in Cork will provide up to 40 departures every day connecting the towns of Haulbowline, Ringaskiddy and Carrigaline to Cork Airport.

Route 216
Bus Éireann, again in conjunction with the National Transport Authority, are pleased to also announce an enhanced bus service for our customers on Route 216 (Cork University Hospital – City Centre – Mount Oval) on the 03rd November. This enhanced network will see:

  • Extension of Route 216 to Passage West and Monkstown
  • Combined with Route 223 will provide three services per hour to / from Cork city
  • Extended hours of operation

We are delighted to be introducing a brand new service and our communications campaign for these enhancements begins this week, can you please share with all your members.

All details regarding the Route 225 and Route 216 service enhancements can be found here: www.buseireann.ie/Route225

Cork’s Better Buildings for 2019 have been revealed!

Bestowing praise on the best maintained buildings in Cork

Cork Business Association, in association with Cork City Council and The Echo, have announced the winners of the 2019 Cork Better Building Awards.


The awards honour the best designed and best maintained buildings in the greater Cork City area, and are aimed at rewarding businesses and building caretakers for their efforts to protect, enhance and improve the city’s streetscape, which in turn, significantly contributes to a positive public perception of the city as a vibrant and dynamic place to live, visit, invest and do business in.


This year in particular, Cork Business Association sought to recognize the huge amount of expansion and planning in Cork, through the awards which were open to any building in the greater Cork area.


The winners of the 2019 Cork Better Building Awards were announced Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr John Sheehan, at a special awards luncheon in the Clayton Hotel, Cork City, on Friday October 18th. Red FM presenter, Neil Prendeville, was MC on the day.


  1. Best in Café/Restaurant

Café Gusto

Café Gusto has recently been tastefully repainted, adding new life to this stretch of Washington Street. Located in a late Georgian, terraced, former house with a double-height timber shopfront to the mezzanine level and retaining some of its distinctive decorative elements, this distinctive café/restaurant enhances the character of this part of the city.

Marianne Delaney representing Cafe Gusto pictured accepting their award for Best in Café/Restaurant at the Cork Business Association's Cork's Better Buildings Awards 2019 in association with Cork City Council and media partners The Echo.


  1. Commercial Business Frontage - Special Merit Award

            Powell Property, Grand Parade

Powell Property occupies a terraced, bow-fronted Georgian former house dating from c. 1790. One of a group of three, with its slate-hung façade and retention of original window arrangement to the upper floors, it makes a significant contribution to the architectural character of Grand Parade.


Michael Powell representing Powell Properties pictured accepting their Special Merit award for Best Commercial Business Frontage at the Cork Business Association's Cork's Better Buildings Awards 2019 in association with Cork City Council and media partners The Echo.


  1. Commercial Business Frontage - Overall Winner

            Barry C Galvin & Son Solicitors 91 South Mall

The attractive, grey and white painted façade of “Barry C. Galvin & Son Solicitors” with its gold signage lettering, contributes to the commercial character of South Mall. The contrasting colours of the arched plasterwork and pilasters enhance the appearance of this building onto the street.

Mr Barry Galvin representing Barry C. Galvin & Son Solicitors pictured accepting their Overall Winner award for Best Commercial Business Frontage at the Cork Business Association's Cork's Better Buildings Awards 2019 in association with Cork City Council and media partners The Echo.


  1. Best in Retail

The Drapery Shop, Emmet Place

“The Drapery Store” occupies this fine, terraced, three-storey building on Emmet Place, dating from c. 1885. Its sympathetic shopfront, including timber fascia and tasteful window display, perfectly complements the Ashlar limestone plinths and pilasters and cast-iron gates at ground floor level, with red brick walls, carved stone architrave to first floor openings and timber sash windows above.

Mairead O’Shea representing The Drapery Shop pictured accepting their award for Best in Retail at the Cork Business Association's Cork's Better Buildings Awards 2019 in association with Cork City Council and media partners The Echo.


  1. Best New Development

85 South Mall

Designed by Henry J. Lyons Architects, this new office development has provided much needed, high quality, Grade A office space to the South Mall area, enhancing the commercial life of the city centre. This highly sustainable building provides a new anchor to this office quarter, strengthening the civic nature of the street.

John Cleary representing JCD Group pictured accepting their award on behalf on 85 South Mall for Best New Development at the Cork Business Association's Cork's Better Buildings Awards 2019 in association with Cork City Council and media partners The Echo.


  1. Best in Tourism, Arts & Accommodation

Nano Nagle Place

The restoration and redevelopment of the South Presentation Convent, grounds and schools: Nano Nagle Place, has made a huge contribution to the rejuvenation of the South Parish area of the city. With its heritage experience, gardens, ‘Good Day Deli’ café and shop, this is a key addition to the tourist draw of Cork City. The story of life in 18th century Cork and the legacy of Nano through the spread of the Presentation Order worldwide is told, while the visitor goes on a spiritual journey and observes living history- experiencing her resting place and the complex of buildings dating from the 1770s to the present day.

Shane Clarke representing Nano Nagle Place pictured accepting their award for Best in Tourism , Arts and Accommodation at the Cork Business Association's Cork's Better Buildings Awards 2019 in association with Cork City Council and media partners The Echo.


  1. Best in Pub Front

Tom Barry’s, Barrack Street

Tom Barry’s is nothing short of a Cork institution. Situated on one of the city’s oldest streets, it sits in the shadow of St Finbarr’s Cathedral and is steeped in history. This well-maintained premises painted in an attractive marine blue palette is further complemented by the subtle use of contrasting colours to accentuate key focal points of the building. The use of strategic planting and the clever use of signage is another positive feature of this building.

Aideen O’Sullivan, Guardian Owner of Tom Barry’s representing Tom Barry's Pub pictured accepting their award for Best Pub Front at the Cork Business Association's Cork's Better Buildings Awards 2019 in association with Cork City Council and media partners The Echo.


  1. Best in Heritage & Conservation

The UCC Centre for Executive Education

Designed by architects T. and K. Deane in 1839, the former Cork Savings Bank has been sensitively reimagined by JCA Architects for its new life as the UCC Executive Masters Business School. Located on a corner site overlooking the south channel of the River Lee, the building occupies a prominent position in the urban landscape. It’s beautifully embellished, former banking hall has been restored to best conservation practice, ensuring this fine, limestone, city landmark will add new life and enhance the educational and business life of the city.

David Burke, UCC Capital Projects Manager an Ursula Kilkelly, Head of the College of Business and Law representing the UCC Centre for Executive Education pictured accepting their award for Best in Heritage and Conservation at the Cork Business Association's Cork's Better Buildings Awards 2019 in association with Cork City Council and media partners The Echo.


  1. Judges Choice

St. Patrick's Bridge

Following a €1.2 million repair and rehabilitation project by Cork City Council, which involved cleaning, repointing and repair of the stonework by Cumnor Construction, specialist repair and restoration work on its lamp columns, and replacement/resurfacing of its carriageways and footpaths, St. Patrick’s Bridge has been returned to its former glory as an iconic feature of Cork’s cityscape. Built in the mid-nineteenth century to a design by Joseph Hargrave and involving over one hundred skilled stone cutters and masons in its construction, this recent refurbishment work showcases this fine example of the city’s architectural heritage.

Tony O’Sullivan, Cork City Council, Julia Gebel, Gebel & Helling Conservation and Gareth O’Callaghan, JC Architects, representing St Patrick's Bridge pictured accepting the Judge's Choice Award at the Cork Business Association's Cork's Better Buildings Awards 2019 in association with Cork City Council and media partners The Echo.



Speaking at the awards, Lawrence Owens, CEO of Cork Business Association, said:

“The Cork Better Building Awards, which we are thrilled to once again partner with Cork City Council on, are a fantastic opportunity to encourage businesses to improve their facades and the overall look of the city. This year’s judging team put a lot of focus on recognizing maintenance and simple good housekeeping of buildings; tasks like painting and cleaning, planting and enhancements that make the very best of the building. I would like to congratulate all the winning businesses today on their well-deserved success and to thank them all for the valuable contribution they make to maintaining Cork’s image as a dynamic and vibrant place to live, work and do business. The facade and exterior areas of a building are one of its biggest selling tools, and one of our main aims in running these annual awards is to encourage everyone to have pride in their buildings and foster a pride of place in Cork.”


Also commenting, Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council, said:

“Cork City Council recognises how important it is to acknowledge and reward property owners who keep our buildings to a high standard and, in doing so, highlight Cork as a fantastic place to shop, work and live. Congratulations to all this year’s Better Buildings Award winners and thank you to all the award entrants for your efforts in maintaining your buildings to such a high standard.”


The awards are run by Cork Business Association and sponsored by Cork City Council and The Echo.

The 2019 judging panel included Ann Bogan, Senior Planner Cork City Council, Paul McGuirk, Local Enterprise Office Cork City, Mary Doyle, Executive Planner Cork City Council, Alan Healy, Deputy News Editor with The Echo, Eoin Kennedy, Zone Digital.

Rochestown Park Hotel Announces ‘Raising Dough for Marymount Cookbook’

#RaisingDough celebrates 30 years of the Rochestown Park Hotel and aims to raise €30k for Marymount Hospice

Rochestown Park Hotel celebrates 30years at the heart of the community in Cork this year and when planning our celebrations we decided to take a different approach to the traditional party.

As a fitting tribute to our customers and the people of Cork, for their continued support, we have commissioned the #RaisingDough for Marymount Cookbook project.

The #RaisingDough for Marymount Cookbook project is the brainchild of our Executive Chef Gary Burke and aims to raise €30k in Rochestown Park Hotel’s 30th year for the Marymount Hospice.

Gary Burke, Executive Chef at Rochestown Park Hotel, has for a long time sought a way of repaying Marymount for the great care shown to his family and the families of his colleagues at Rochestown Park Hotel who have relied upon their dedicated support.

Why a Cookbook? Why not? Gary honed his skills under the tutelage of the Brennan brothers and Kevin Dundon, assisting with the running of the famed Cookery School at Dunbrody House. Having run restaurants, opened hotels and now serving sumptuous delights in Cork’s premier events hotel. It is safe to say Gary knows a bit about food.

But this isn’t meant to be just another cookbook, Marymount touches and has touched the hearts and souls of families throughout Cork and Munster. They provide care for the loved ones of husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, indeed all family members. As such this book aims at celebrating the family in all its glory.

The recipes range from the simple to the slightly more engaging, they showcase the best of Cork produce and local suppliers but more importantly they taste of Cork, of Home and of Family.

So, you knew it was coming!! Here’s the ask!

€20 is all they're looking for!
That’s right, you heard it, just €20 will help them on the way to ther target of €30k and what do you get………Well a shiny new cook book of course filled with Cork delights, a chance to gather the family around the table and the knowledge you’ve helped raised funds for a very worthy Pure Cork institution, Marymount Hospice.

If you wish to attend the #RaisingDough launch register your interest on the following link: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/raising-dough-for-marymount-tickets-73973096523

Venue: The Atrium @ Rochestown Park Hotel
Date: Thursday October 10th
Time: 6pm – 8:30pm

Executive Chef Gary Burke will be cooking up a storm on the night signing books, dishing out prizes and serving up delectable treats straight from the book. And of course we’ll have lots of books!!!!

The #RaisingDough cookbook will be available to purchase from the following outlets: Rochestown Park Hotel, Marymount Hospice Curraheen, Marymount Charity Shop, Oliver Plunkett St, Cork & Musgrave MarketPlace, Ballycurreen, Airport Road.

All monies from cookbook sales at the above locations will go directly to Marymount Hospice, thanks to the generosity of the sponsors detailed below.

The ‘Raising Dough for Marymount Cookbook’ was produced by Rochestown Park Hotel with the generous help of sponsors: Quigley Meats, All Fresh Wholesale, Ballycotton Seafood, O’Connell Butchers, Gulfstream, Cork Bar & Catering Equipment, CM Refrigeration, Meadowfresh Foods, John Giltsharp, Higgins Catering and published by Mercier Press.

Must-see acts and events at this year’s Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

Jazz musician, Gary Baus, and swing dancers, Laura Hicks and Ferran Mata, pictured launching the 42nd Guinness Cork Jazz Festival which returns to Cork City from Thursday 24th – Monday 28th October, with headline gigs taking place in Cork City Hall and the Everyman. Picture; Clare Keogh

2019 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival Programme is officially launched!

Guinness has launched the full programme of events for the 42nd Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, which takes place over the bank holiday weekend from 24th to 28th October 2019.  

The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is one of the biggest and longest running events on the Irish music calendar. Every nook and cranny of Cork City will come alive across the festival weekend to the sounds of over 1,000 musicians and creative artists from more than 20 countries.

This year’s festival will host a fantastic array of top international headline jazz acts, including Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Kurt Elling, The Big Brass Band Explosion, Dr. Linley Hamilton Quintet, Fred Hersch Trio, Mica Paris, and Spyro Gyra.

There’s also a great line up at the Metropole Festival Club, and an exciting fringe programme of free gigs and entertainment in over 70 city venues across the city.  

This year we’re also looking forward to the Blaze of Jazz Parade, which will kick off the weekend on Friday 24th in spectacular ‘flare’.  This family-friendly parade will feature a mix of red-hot jazz bands with fiery Cork characters in a dramatic musical march full of flaming antics.   Other highlights include the Jazz Jamboree, Jazz Food Fair, and The Artistry of Frank Sinatra audio-visual event with more to be announced soon!

You could spend your time wandering from venue to venue, taking in free on-street sessions, but we also recommend booking tickets to at least one must-see acts on www.guinnessjazzfestival.com before it’s too late…  



  1. British soul queen and platinum selling artist Mica Paris singing Ella Fitzgerald.  Friday October 25th, The Everyman, 8pm
  • Booka Brass Band, Ireland's first New Orleans style brass band.
    Friday October 26th, Cork Opera House, 11.30pm
  1. Prize winning saxophonist and composer Paul Booth followed by Tudo Bem’s celebration of the Music of Brazil at the much-loved Jazz at the Green Room sessions at Cork Opera House.  Friday 25 October 2019, 10pm and midnight


  • Big Brass Band Explosion – Three amazing brass bands - The OhnO! Jazzband, Hyde Park Brass, and Les FanFlures - will play back to back in a gig guaranteed to knock your socks off. Saturday October 26th, The Everyman, 2pm
  • 14-time Grammy nominee Kurt Elling will pay tribute to jazz legends like Louis Armstrong, Nat “King” Cole, Jon Hendricks, Shirley Horn and Nancy Wilson.  Saturday October 26th, Cork City Hall, 8pm.
  • American Jazz fusion band Spyro Gyra whose 30 albums have sold over 10 million copies over four decades.  Saturday October 26th, The Everyman 8pm
  • Renowned ECM artist John Surman, who is known for expanding the horizons of jazz, will present a special concert with pianist Vigleik Storaas. Saturday October 26th, Triskel Christchurch, 8pm.


  1. Northern Ireland’s famous Trumpeter Linley Hamilton is one of the most prolific figures in the jazz scene.    Sunday October 27th, The Everyman, 2pm
  2. – Leading the new wave of young European improvising trumpeters, Airelle Besson will perform with pianist Sebastian Sternal, and drummer Jonas Burgwinkel.
    Sunday October 27th, Triskel Arts Centre, 2.30pm
  1. Motown diva and Grammy Hall of Famer, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, who is listed among Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Immortal Artists”.
    Sunday October 27th, Cork City Hall, 8pm
  1. 14-time Grammy nominee and 2018 Jazz Pianist of the Year, Fred Hersh, is flying in from the US with his jazz Trio.  Sunday October 27th, The Everyman, 8pm

Also, to mark ECM record label’s 50th anniversary, Triskel Arts Centre has curated a weekend of concerts and cinema during the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival weekend.

Finally, you can’t miss out on the experience of attending a gig at the Metropole Festival Club, where a host of fresh new international talent will perform from the UK, France, Canada and Ireland. Entry is just €30 per person and will give you access to the entire hotel with jazz acts in four rooms including New York Brass, Pixie & The Gypsies, NC Grey and the Hyde Park Brass Band.  The Metropole is also hosting a Jazz Platinum VIP Lounge this year where you can experience smooth purist jazz in an intimate setting with champagne and charcuterie boards, tapas and oysters for €75 per person.

At this year’s programme launch event, Councillor John Sheehan, Lord Mayor of Cork, welcomed the continued support of local businesses in 2019, “The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival attracts more than 40,000 people to Cork annually and is worth millions to the local economy. Its continued success is a testament to the fantastic team ethos that has evolved over the years between Guinness, the festival committee, local government and the local business community and I wish it every success once again in 2019.”

Michael Lyons, On-Trade Sales Manager, Diageo Ireland, is calling all music lovers and to experience the welcoming and party vibe in Cork for this year’s festival.  “The festival has always boasted a line-up of music for the soul and we are thrilled to welcome some of the greatest musicians from the Jazz, RnB, Soul and Motown genres again this year. Those looking for a unique party atmosphere emanating from every part of the city have lots to look forward to with free gigs and fringe events for every palette.”

Fiona Collins, Chairperson of the Guinness Cork Jazz Committee commented, “The festival committee is delighted to work in partnership with Diageo Ireland, Cork City Council, Cork Business Association, Cork Chamber and businesses all over the city to create another fantastic weekend programme to be proud of and it’s a great opportunity to showcase the city and it’s welcoming vibe to thousands of Irish and overseas visitors”.

For Guinness Cork Jazz Festival updates and tickets please visit www.guinnessjazzfestival.com. And follow the festival social channels for the latest news - www.facebook.com/corkjazzfestival - www.twitter.com/corkjazzfest


Enjoy Guinness Sensibly. Visit www.drinkaware.ie

How will a No-Deal Brexit impact Cork Airport?

Brexit – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will flights be cancelled or delayed if there is a no deal Brexit?

A no deal Brexit is not expected to have any impact on flight operations at Cork Airport. The EU has introduced new laws to ensure that flights between the UK and Ireland will continue to operate as normal even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The UK has confirmed that it will mirror these arrangements.

What queue should UK passport holders use at airport immigration if the UK leaves without a deal?

At present, UK passport holders are processed through the EU channel at Cork Airport. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), which operates immigration at Cork Airport, has confirmed that UK passport holders will continue to be processed through the EU channel – however, this EU channel will be re-designated as an EU/UK channel. This means there is no real change at Irish immigration for UK passport holders.

In the event of a no deal Brexit, we will be changing the signs at immigration to make things clear for passengers. Cork Airport staff will also be on hand to help passengers to deal with any queries that may arise.

If the UK leaves without a deal, what customs channel should UK arrivals use?

In the event of a no deal Brexit the UK will no longer be in the European Union and ALL passengers arriving from UK airports will have to use the Green customs channel or the Red channel if they need to make a customs declaration.

No passenger arriving from a UK airport is entitled to use the Blue channel post Brexit, irrespective of their nationality. Revenue Commissioners staff who manage Customs at Cork Airport will be on hand to help passengers and to deal with any queries that may arise.

Will duty-free shopping return for passengers flying to the UK in a no deal scenario?

Duty-free shopping will return on alcohol and tobacco products if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The UK government has said it will reintroduce duty-free for passengers travelling to EU countries in the event of a no deal Brexit. In that context, the Irish government has said duty-free will be available on alcohol and tobacco products for passengers travelling on flights to UK from Irish airports in the event of a no deal Brexit.

What allowances will people have if duty-free returns on flights to the UK? 

The duty-free allowances are likely to be the same as those currently in place for non-EU countries. These are as follows:  200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of smoking tobacco; 1 litre of spirits; 2 litres of liqueur, port or sherry; 4 litres of wine, and 16 litres of beer.

Will passengers travelling to the UK from Cork Airport be able to buy duty-free perfume and cosmetics?

No. The Irish Government has said that under a no deal Brexit scenario only duty-free alcohol and tobacco will be available for passengers on flights to the UK. The Loop at Cork Airport will continue to offer Ireland’s best deals for beauty and cosmetics for all passengers, regardless of their final destination, with prices that are at least 15% cheaper than downtown stores.

Will there be any impact with respect to security screening for Irish or UK passengers in a no deal scenario? 

No. We’re not expecting any security changes for UK passengers or for any other nationalities travelling to the UK from Cork Airport. UK citizens and those travelling to the UK should continue to comply with all existing security processes and requirements. 

What about the Common Travel Area (CTA) between Ireland and the UK, does it still apply?

Both the Irish and British governments have said the Common Travel Area (CTA) will continue to apply. Under the CTA, Irish and UK citizens can move freely and live in either jurisdiction and enjoy associated rights and entitlements. 

The Government of Ireland, the UK Government, and the EU have committed to maintaining the CTA and its associated rights and entitlements in all circumstances, including in a no deal Brexit. 

Some airlines let me use just a driving licence as ID for flying to Britain, will that change after Brexit? Will I need to have a passport?

The Common Travel Area (CTA) will continue to operate between Ireland and the UK in a no deal Brexit.

However, passengers will still have to present proof of their identity to avail of CTA arrangements and therefore will need official photo identification. Passengers should check with their airline to clarify the type of identification the airline requires and should travel with their passport if there is any uncertainty.  

The CBA Has Had A Busy Summer! 

Flood Insurance

Flood insurance or the lack of same has long been a bitter bone of contention for many businesses in Cork city. I have seen at first hand the devastation that flooding can cause to premises and the stress and worry it causes to the operators who in many cases didn't have and couldn't get flood insurance cover. This problem is, of course, not unique to Cork city and is indeed a national issue. Hence the reason several years ago the CBA formed a strategic alliance with the Irish National Flood Forum. Our objective was and is to ensure locations which have seen Flood Defences installed to the 1 in 100-year standard by the OPW, must subsequently be offered affordable Flood Insurance cover. This regrettably is not happening and I can refer to Fermoy, Clonmel, & Mallow as examples where the state has invested close to €130 million on flood defences yet businesses and indeed many private residences are refused flood insurance cover.

In April this year, the Cork Business Association along with the INFF met with Insurance Ireland and challenged them on why they were not offering flood insurance cover particularly in the newly defended areas. Their main argument was the use of demountable defences and the lack of agreed protocols for their deployment. This position to pardon a pun does not hold water, demountable defences are an integral part of most flood schemes and Insurance Ireland has failed to work with any of the key stakeholders to agree on such protocols. Simply put it suits them for the status quo to remain and they can use this lack of agreed procedures relating to demountable defences as an excuse not to offer flood insurance cover.

In July this year again on the issue of Flood Insurance, the CBA & INFF met with the Central Bank where we expressed our concern at the lack of flood insurance cover specifically in areas where the OPW have spent hundreds of millions of Euro on completing world-class flood protection schemes in 18 towns across Ireland. The issue of non-independent data being collected by the government on the penetration of flood insurance in towns that have had a flood scheme delivered was highlighted. The Director of Consumer Affairs with the Central Bank did believe the information we presented warranted further investigation. The Central Bank position was they needed to reassess the situation and revert with their findings.

 It is the view of the Cork Business Association & the Irish National Flood Forum that legislation is the only method that will resolve the issue of affordable flood insurance cover. In this respect, we have been most fortunate to have the support and advice of Michael McGrath T.D. who has tabled a private member's Flood Insurance Bill 2016. This bill is currently before Dáil Eireann, Third Stage better known as committee stage. The next phase is to get the bill out of the committee stage into the report stage / final report stage and thence to the Seanad. This, of course, will not be a straight forward journey and there are powerful interest groups who don't want to see this happen. The Cork Business Association is committed to achieving this objective for property owners both local & national and will continue to support the INFF in this endeavour.

Delegation who met with representatives of the Irish Central Bank:

  • Cathal O Donovan Director INFF
  • Jer Buckley PRO INFF
  • Paul Kavanagh MD McCarthy Insurance Brokers
  • Michael Tully Balinasloe Flood Alleviation
  • Lawrence Owens CEO Cork Business Association
  • Eamon Downey – Development Director Owens McCarthy Loss Adjusters ( not in picture also attended )

Street Performers / Busking Bye-Laws

Street performing will always be an integral part of what our city offers. It greatly adds to the atmosphere and vibrancy of our wonderful city. I don't think many would argue with that position and neither would the CBA. However, whilst most street performers take into account their surroundings and what is the appropriate volume for the area, there are unfortunately a few who feel whatever volume they decide on is acceptable. This over-amplification, sometimes to absolutely ridiculous levels, is unreasonable.

We have received many complaints from businesses in the city on this issue particularly on the level of amplification being used which is impacting on our members who are trying to conduct their business. What we are proposing is to regulate the art of street performers, particularly when it comes to the volume that some performers choose to use. The current situation is that Cork City has no bye-laws in place to regulate street performers and we are seeking to have this situation corrected. We have met with Councillor Joe Kavanagh, Fine Gael, on this issue and asked him that this matter be brought before city council to enact bye-laws that will give the Gardaí power of enforcement in this area. In essence, it’s all about balance.

VAT: Hospitality & Services Sector Competitiveness

Many of our members have expressed to us their serious concern that the change in the Vat rate from 9% back to 13.5% in the 2018 Budget is having on their business. In our view, no commercial logic was applied to this decision a 50% increase and in one budget. No consideration was given to adjusting this rate over several budgets to allow businesses to cope, instead, it was applied in full at 13.5%.

In the Tourism sector alone VAT increase from 9% to 13.5% has meant an additional tax burden of €466 million on the tourism industry this year. Ireland now has a higher VAT rate than 27 countries in Europe, to improve competitiveness Ireland’s tourism VAT rate needs to be urgently reviewed so that it is line with European peers.

Submissions for the 2019 Budget are now being made by various sectors across the country. In partnership with the Irish Hotel Federation, (IHF) Cork Vintners Federation (CFI), Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) & representatives from the services sector.

The Cork Business Association facilitated a number of meetings with key politicians to convey to them the seriousness of the issue and the urgent need for the vat rate to be adjusted back to 9.5%, particularly as the uncertainty that Brexit and the fall in the value of sterling is bringing to the tourism & hospitality sector.

We met with Michael McGrath Fianna Fáil spokesperson on finance on Thursday, September 5th & An Tánaiste & Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney later on the same day.

Following these meeting, the below Press Release was issued:

Business Leaders Meet with Key Politicians in relation to Budget 2020

The Cork Business Association in alliance with representatives of the Hospitality, Services & Tourism sectors held separate meetings last Thursday 05th September at the CBA offices at no. 5 South Mall, with Michael McGrath, Fianna Fail spokesperson on finance, and later with An Tánaiste, Simon Coveney.

The meetings focused on the upcoming Budget for 2020 as well as the measures that need to be enacted to stop the erosion of the sector's competitiveness, viability and the long-term sustainability of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry and biggest regional employer.

The meetings were frank and open and the serious concerns of the representative organisations who attended were conveyed. The consensus was that the existing VAT rate of 13.5% needs to be restored to 9% in the forthcoming budget in order that these vital sectors future, and the significant levels of employment they maintain, is secured.

In attendance at the meetings were An Tánaiste, Simon Coveney, Michael McGrath, Fianna Fail spokesman on Finance, Lawrence Owens, Chief Executive CBA, Philip Gillivan, CBA President and owner of The Shelbourne Bar, Aaron Mansworth, Managing Director of the Trigon Hotel Group, Mike Ryan owner of the Cornstore & Coqbull restaurants and representing the RAI, Sean McCarthy publican & restauranteur and treasurer of the CVF, Neil Grant, General Manager of The Celtic Ross Hotel and representing as branch chairman of the IHF, Kathleen Healy, Darcy's Hair Salon representing the services sector, Claire Nash, owner of Nash 19, Michael Magner, owner of the Vienna Woods Hotel.

L-R - Lawrence Owens, Mike Ryan, Michael Magner, Neil Grant, Philip Gillivan, An Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Claire Nash, Aaron Mansworth, Sean McCarthy, Kathleen Healy, Sarah Bennett

L-R - Lawrence Owens, Michael Magner, Mike Ryan, Michael McGrath, Neil Grant, Claire Nash, Kathleen Healy, Sean McCarthy

Retail Initiatives / Review

The retail committee of the Cork Business Association has had several highly positive and constructive meetings with members of Retail Excellence Ireland. Looking at a range of innovative initiatives to improve the retail offer in Cork city. This is very much a work in progress and of course must include all the other key stakeholders in our city such as the Cork Chamber of Commerce, Cork City Council and others. International experience tells us that cities that work together in collaboration and partnership do best. Progressive retailers are embracing technology and driving an omni-channel approach within their stores for the benefit of us, the customers. Physical stores are part of our culture and investment in technology is being used to deliver a customer-centric retail experience, through click-and-collect, electronic shelf labels, real-time pricing, digital receipts/mobile vouchers, in-store virtual dressing rooms, etc. However, the core of the customer experience remains the physical store, and these innovations merely augment and add to the experience. The reality is that the retail landscape is forever changing, but while trends and preferences are cyclical, the delivery of a consistent, excellent customer experience remains at the core of all successful businesses. Cork in this respect through innovative initiatives such as the Customer service charter is well placed to deliver the consistent excellence in service that is needed. To keep our customers coming into town going into shops and interacting with people as opposed to shopping online.

Better Building Awards 2019

The search has begun for Cork's best designed and maintained buildings.

Entries for the 2019 Cork Better Buildings Awards 2019 are arriving in their droves with business owners and building occupants right across the greater Cork area keen to show off the exterior of their establishment.

The Cork Better Building Awards congratulate staff, managers, property owners, developers, architects and designers for high standards in design, conservation and creativity, and also salute the window cleaners, painters and maintenance staff on their good practice in the presentation and upkeep of the buildings. This significantly contributes to a positive public perception of the city as a vibrant and dynamic place to live, visit, invest and do business in.   

This year in particular, we want to recognise the huge amount of expansion and planning in Cork. To acknowledge this, we are delighted to announce that the 2019 Cork’s Better Building Awards are open to any building in the greater Cork area. Whether the building you consider worthy of nomination is in Ballincollig, Glanmire, Blarney, Douglas or in the City Centre the CBA welcomes your nomination and is urging every business owner, heritage building owner, architect or conservationist to apply before the September 23rd deadline. You do not need to be a member of the CBA to enter these awards.

The beauty of Cork’s Better Building Awards is that the public can also get involved and nominate a building that they admire and believe is a stand-up feature in Cork City. You do not have to own or operate the building itself to enter it in the Cork’s Better Building Awards so please, share with us some of your favourite Cork buildings.

The Cork Better Building Awards are supported by Cork City Council and our media partners, The Echo.

For more information on these awards or to enter today please visit www.corkbusiness.ie.

Cork's longest running business association and the Irish Management Institute partner to "equip leaders to build the future" in Cork.

At the beginning of July Cork Business Association was delighted to announce our new partnership with the Irish Management Institute (IMI) to continue our mission to support businesses of all sizes in Cork.

Founded by business leaders for business leaders, the Irish Management Institute (IMI) has been empowering world-class executives for over sixty years. This year, IMI was officially ranked as one of the top 50 executive education institutes in the world by the Financial Times. Through sharing the latest information on upcoming executive development programmes running in Cork, we will be in a position to provide our members access to world-class professional development.

We, the CBA, are extremely keen to continue to work closely with the IMI to provide our members in the Cork region with the highest level of speakers and panelists that will both educate and inspire attendees to propel their business forward through their own personal development. 

The Insurance crisis affecting SMEs
A Cork Business Association event

Businesses in the retail, hospitality, tourism and events sectors are facing significant challenges in procuring sustainable insurance premiums. Some are facing closure due to insurance issues. Industry representative bodies are working hard to bring about change through extensive lobbying of government and through the media, however, SMEs affected by these issues need to take action in their own businesses now.

The Cork Business Association is hosting an insurance event for businesses in Cork city on 17 September at 5.30pm in the Metropole Hotel with a number of industry experts.

Peter Boland heads up the lobby group Alliance for Insurance Reform which enjoys a very broad base involving over 35,000 members seriously concerned about the insurance crisis in Ireland, who are immensely frustrated at the slow pace of reform. Peter will discuss the insurance crisis, the impact for retailers and the hospitality trade, and what they are doing to bring about insurance reform. 

Bill Cremin, MD of Cool Running Events Ltd., who runs iceskating.ie (including Cork on Ice) and is a partner of The Nightmare Realm, will give insights into insurance for festivals and events.  Bill’s company deals with claims every year. Despite this they manage to maintain sustainable insurance cover for their business.  Bill will provide insight about how his company manages risk and continues to thrive in a challenging insurance environment.

Brendan O Connell, Partner at Ronan Daly Jermyn, acts for some of Ireland’s leading retailers and he will provide insight on strategies to employ in determining when a case is worthwhile defending/settling.

Clara O Neill from Total Planning Solutions and Chair of the CBA infrastructure committee will speak about Cork's proposed Flood Defences and their effect on the availability of flood insurance for businesses in the city.

The takeaways for attendees will be among the following;

  • Learn about the insurance crisis in Ireland and how you can lobby.
  • Insights on how to manages claims to ensure sustainable renewal premiums in risky business
  • Practical advice on how to identify and manage risk in your business.
  • How to position your business to secure sustainable insurance premiums.
  • Flood Defences for Cork and how they may impact on the availability of flood insurance

Date:  Tuesday 17th Sept

Time:  Registration from 5.30pm, Presentations from 6-7.30pm, followed by a Q&A. 

Venue:  The Metropole Hotel Cork

Cost:  Free for CBA members, €15 for non-members

Purple Flag

The Cork Business Association has been working closely with the Cork City Council, An Gardaí Siochanna, Cork Chamber of Commerce and various other stakeholder, over the summer months in order to retain Cork’s Purple Flag status. The international accreditation, awarded by the Association of Cities and Towns Management, celebrates areas of excellence in the night-time economy and has to be renewed every two years.

The ‘vibrant Victorian Quarter’ and the success of the public bike scheme were some of the reasons given for Cork retaining its coveted Purple Flag status back in 2017. We are confident that Cork will meet, and even surpass, the necessary criteria required to retain our Purple Flag status this year.

Members of the 'Athlone A Capella' ladies barbershop chorus celebrating the purple flag renewal award of Cork city centre, as part of International Purple Flag weekend, before taking part in the barbershop convention in City Hall, Cork. Picture: David Keane.

Q-Park Rewards App

At the beginning of the summer the CBA met with representatives from Q-Park on order to discuss the introduction of the new parking rewards app which they had previously launched in Dublin and the UK.

The Q-Park Rewards app is an innovative card linked app which works with Q-Park and Retail Partners. Customers can earn cashback rewards from spending on parking and retail spend, simply by registering the bank card in the secure app. Following in-depth discussions into the processes and benefits of using this app, what we found most interesting about this parking initiative is that the individual business essentially controls what level of discount they offer and they can make it appropriate to their business model. The app is totally independent of Cork City Council as it only applies to Q-Park locations.

We were happy to welcome Cork City business owners into the CBA office for a briefing session with members of the Q-Park team allowing them to share the information about their new app and begin to build relationships between the retailers and Q-Park.

CBA Meeting with Garda Superintendent

In July President Philip Gillivan & I, Lawrence Owens, met with Superintendent Colm O’Sullivan who is in charge of Governance and operates from Anglesea Street. We had a long and detailed discussion on the lack of Garda resources for Cork City. We stressed our concern and that of the many businesses who have raised, and continue to raise, this issue with us.

We advised the Superintendent that we have written to the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, & Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin all on the same issue of Garda resources for Cork City.

Our request is very straight forward we want to see Gardaí on the streets of our city, not in patrol cars but essentially boots on the ground. We received a commitment from Superintendent O’Sullivan that he would revert to the CBA in September on this matter. We look forward to his response and will keep you updated on developments regarding this vitally important issue.

Events Centre

Where does one begin on this project which we all fully agree is so critical to the future prosperity of the city, as it will have such a positive impact on so many sectors.

During the summer the CBA, in partnership with the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), and the Cork Vintners Association (CVA), held a number of meetings with all the key players involved with the Events Centre; Ann Doherty CEO Cork City Council, Theo Cullinane, CEO BAM Ireland and An Tánaiste Simon Coveney TD.

The objective was to try and understand where the delays were in moving this project forward and what our organisations could do to assist in the matter. It was during this consultation process that, in late July, we learnt as you all did that BAM was given notice that it must supply a Natural Impact Statement on the impact to the Cork Harbour Protected Area (SPA) and the Great Island Area of Conservation (SAC). Furthermore, they had been given six months to provide this report.

To say we, along with most interested observers, were baffled is an understatement. Since the sod was turned on the site back in February 2016 this project has been dogged by set back after set back. However, I now believe the requested information has been supplied to Cork City Council planning department. We now await planning permission and of course, await the objections to same which I'm pretty sure will follow. Why does An Taisce suddenly come to mind?

Then the last elephant in the room must be addressed; that of the finance for this project which has yet to be resolved. However, despite the chequered history of this project, I am still confident it will happen, I just can't say when.