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Issue 518 - 26th Oct 2020
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(From Business Eye)

Four Northern Ireland business women are among the first 100 professionals in the world to become accredited advisors in a globally recognised marketing model that will help businesses plan a recovery from the devastating economic impact of the pandemic. As SOSTAC® Certified Planners, marketing strategy experts Lydia McClelland, Denise Hamill, Christine Watson and licensed tutor Debbie Rymer are actively working with companies to improve their digital presence to survive in a world at battle with the devastating impact of the Covid-19 virus.
Image may contain: 16 people, text that says "WANTED DONEGAL AUTHOR'S NEW BOOK THE IRISH 15595 WISE GUYS The Stories of the Most Notorious Irish-Amrian Gangsters JOHNJOEMGINLEY McGINLEY ONLY €14.99 PLUS €5 POST & PACKAGING The Irish Wise Guys is a no-holds-barred account by John Joe McGinley focusing on the most notorious Irish American Gangsters, crime bosses for whom death and destruction was a daily currency in their lives. Read the tales of some of the most wanted men in American criminal history."
Councils could be refunded up to £70m
Mid-Ulster Council has won a landmark VAT case which could see local authorities across the north receive refunds of up to £70 million. More than a decade after beginning its challenge against HM Revenue & Customs, a tribunal in London has ruled that VAT paid since 2006 by members of the public for access to sports, recreation and leisure facilities provided by councils was outside the scope of the VAT regime.

It is thought the rebate for Mid-Ulster Council alone will be around £3 million. But the ruling will result in a multi-million pound payback for all 11 councils across Northern Ireland. And while the final amount of the VAT repayment is still to be agreed, provisional estimates suggest HMRC will be repaying between £50m and £70m to the local councils.

Mid-Ulster council chairman Cathal Mallaghan, left, has described the ruling as a ‘mammoth victory’, adding: “Each and every council here, and their ratepayers, will benefit substantially.” The tribunal agreed with Mid-Ulster Council that supplies of leisure and recreational services to members of the public were provided by the council in its role as a public authority acting under a special legal regime, within the meaning of the EU Principal VAT Directive .

The council was then able to demonstrate there was no significant distortion with the private sector, as they could not possibly provide the same level and scope of services, to provide community equality, enhance community integration, and reduce social deprivation, without financial viability being primary. That meant no VAT should ever have been charged on the services.

It is thought the case could have wider implications for the circumstances in which local authorities may be able to reclaim wrongly paid VAT. A spokesperson for HMRC said it was “considering the judgment carefully”.
Marketing loses way in hunt for quick fix
Irish Times Sat 17th Oct
"Quick, look busy" is an instinct many people regularly succumb to during their careers. But a new book by Colin Gordon, a veteran marketer and former chief executive of Glanbia Consumer Foods, argues that the temptation is counterpro-ductive. Published by Orpen Press, Marketing is in Trouble: How We Got Here and 10 Steps to Get Us Out is Gordon's distillation of the lessons he learned from more than 35 years' experience in Irish business.

It expands on his conviction that marketing is a much-misunderstood discipline where "good marketers" are too often seen as synonymous with "busy marketers" - those people who "come in and throw everything around", switching the advertising agencies they work with and rearranging the furniture, without adding any real value. "Quite often being busy is a strategy," says Gordon.

The premise of Gordon's book is that, in an era of cost-cutting and short-term targets, something has fundamentally gone wrong with the practice of marketing. And because there is a touch of the Premiership football managers in the average lifespan of a top marketing executive, the person has often moved on before the long-term value of their contribution can be assessed. When the Covid-19 dust eventually settles, companies in the most affected sectors will need strong marketing to stand a fighting chance of connecting or reconnecting - with consumers.

It will help if they remember that marketing isn't merely about advertising or brand awareness or communications, but about making the sales process as simple as possible. "It's about how you connect the inside world of the business with the outside world of the customers," Gordon says. "You don't have to be part of the marketing team to do that. Some of the best marketing is done by the delivery driver and the call centre worker." But it always helps when the chief executive is "the best marketer in the company", he adds.

Formerly Glanbia Ireland’s chief executive of consumer foods, Colin Gordon, was responsible for brands including Avonmore, Kilmeaden Cheese and Premier Milk, 

Employers sought to offer graduates Digital Futures

Belfast City Region employers are being invited to get on board with a new initiative, designed to help graduates achieve industry relevant qualifications and gain work experience within the growing digital sector.

Developed by Belfast Region City Deal partners, funded by the Department for the Economy as part of the Skills Intervention Programme, and delivered by a number of FE Colleges across the region, Digital Futures will support 55 graduates over the next six months, giving them opportunities to explore career pathways in Cloud Computing, Data Analytics and Cyber Security.
Belfast Lord Mayor, Alderman Frank McCoubrey explained: “Digital Futures was developed by the Belfast Region City Deal partners, working closely with government and industry to deliver a rapid response to the economic impact of the pandemic. Our Digital and IT sectors are thriving despite current challenges – so it’s imperative that we continue to support this high value, high growth sector of our economy and take every opportunity to help our young people find employment. 
“I’d encourage employers who can provide work placements to sign up right away – it’s an excellent, no cost opportunity to get the region’s best young brains working with your company.”

Digital Portraits in Oils

A new Art Company launched in Northern Ireland will make it easy and affordable to have your personal Portrait ‘Painted’ on Canvas in Oils.  Art Digital NI ‘Digitally’ paints your portrait by hand, prints it on artists canvas and sends it world wide.
YES!!   Now you can have an incredible portrait created of yourself, your family, a loved one or a pet.  Not only is it unique it’s something you can frame and proudly display in your home or office that will be talked about time and time again.

Working from an original photograph you supply to Art Digital N.I. by e-mail, in either .jpg, tif, png or pdf format, the best results come from photos with highest resolution.
From the receipt of your photograph please allow 7 working days –The service is World Wide so delivery and postal charges is dependent on the senders location. - Delivery within the UK will be via recorded via Royal Mail or orders for orders posted to outside UK via  ‘International signed for’ prices for postage and delivery times will be quoted prior to ordering and payment.

Should you be unhappy with the result simply return it for a full no quibble refund.
Within the coming weeks the company will also be offering Digital Oil Paintings of some of in Northern Ireland ‘s famous landmarks. Which, like the portraits can be purchased from A5 (148mm  210mm) size through A4 and A3 to A2 (420mm X 594mm). Gradually this will be extended to include scenes of all Ireland.

See -
For a quotation, email David Stewart at 
Or call 07710527063

Contact Kim Harris   07851 838 219

Rising from the ashes of Covid-19, Caring Feet was born to help those that are most vulnerable find footwear solutions at a reasonable price. We provide shoe fitting and delivery services throughout Belfast and surrounding areas.

We have a wide range of slippers and shoes available in a variety of styles, fits and sizes to suit most foot types. Foot problems related to diabetes, club foot and bone deformities can all be catered for.
Given the current climate and our customers' needs, we are very Covid aware. PPE will be worn at all times during an appointment and any materials we bring with us will be cleaned and disinfected using a 5th generation Siquat sanitiser. Appointments are available Monday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm and all orders are fulfilled within 5 working days, subject to stock availability.
Used properly, social media can build awareness, drive sales, even help your business get found online. But it has to be the right social media for your business, it has to be used in the right way... and you need to know how to know that it’s working as hard for you as it possibly can.  Our one-day masterclass will help you get the most out of it! 

  • Anyone who writes copy for print
  • Anyone who writes content for websites, blogs, email or social media
  • Anyone wishing to improve their copywriting skills!
Book Now for 20 November

Act now - advice and support worth £2000/€2250

Are you a business looking to navigate your way through Brexit and are unsure what to do next? InterTradeIreland offers 100% financial support up to £2000/€2250 (inclusive of VAT) towards professional advice in relation to Brexit matters. This support can help your business get advice on specific issues such as movement of labour, goods, services and currency management.

Are you eligible?

To qualify for financial support your business must:
  • Be located on the island of Ireland (North or South)
  • Trade across the border (NI/ROI)
  • Employ less than 250 employees
  • Have an annual turnover of less than €50m (sterling equivalent)
  • Have a satisfactory trading history (we reserve the rights to request submission of financial accounts)
Note: There are certain exclusions in line with specific State Aid guidelines, such as primary agriculture – please contact the Brexit Team at InterTradeIreland for further information.
The Voucher is provided under the European Commission Regulation on De Minimis Aid as stated in the documentation for the Brexit Start to Plan. The business must provide InterTradeIreland with details of all other De Minimis aid which has been granted to the business within the past three years. It should be noted that a false declaration by a business resulting in the threshold of €200,000 being exceeded could later give rise to the aid being recovered with interest.

For more information and to apply CLICK HERE
For Northern Ireland specific contracts, there are a number of sources of information specifically for contracts within Northern Ireland. The Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) handles contracts for a number of government departments.
Belfast City Council logo

In order to submit a tender you must register your company (link opens in new window) details with the eSourcing site. If you have any queries, or experience any problems when using eSourcing NI, please contact BravoSolution: Call 0800 368 4850 or if phoning from outside the UK, call +4420 3349 6601

PQQ 4165      Integrated Consultant Team for Paisley Park Sportsplex Refurbishment, Phase 2  12 noon, 30 October 2020
PQQ 4168      Main Contractor for Mornington Community Centre  12 noon, 30 October 2020
T2062           Framework for the Supply and Delivery of Goods for Resale to Belfast Zoo (this is a condensed version of an Official Journal of the European Union Notice sent on 29 September 2020) 12 noon, 2 November 2020

T2108   Provision for Delivery of PEACE IV Events Programme
This project is supported by the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). 12 noon, 2 November 2020
T2015  Tender for the Supply and Delivery of Paints and Sundries  12 noon, 9 November 2020

T1880  Tender for the collection and disposal of hazardous waste and asbestos 12 noon, 10 November 2020

178948 - 2020/06 - Tender for Audio Visual and Interactive Production for the Custom House Visitor Centre, Dublin, Ireland.
Publication date:  23-10-2020
Response deadline:  16-11-2020 12:00   Irish time
Procedure: 1. Open Procedure (NON OJEU)
Description: The office of Public Works now seek to commission an experienced AV production company to develop and produce audio visual content and digital interactive design for the exhibition displays at The Custom House Visitor Centre Dublin, Ireland.
Buyer: Office of Public Works (OPW)

178937 - Evaluation Services - Contractor to provide the Evaluation Services of a comprehensive suite of training for the Wild-Work Co-operation Project
Publication date:  23-10-2020
Response deadline:  13-11-2020 16:00   Irish time
Procedure: 1. Open Procedure (NON OJEU)
Description: Breffni Integrated CLG, on behalf of a network of 3 local development companies, wishes to appoint a Contractor to provide the Evaluation Services of a comprehensive suite of training for the Wild-Work Co-operation Project. The proposed project Is a LEADER funded Inter-territorial project led by SECAD CLG with West Limerick Resources CLG and Breffni Integrated CLG across 4 Areas of South Cork, West Cork, West Limerick and County Cavan. The Project is designed to deliver a co-ordinated approach to biodiversity conservation and promotion on an inter-territorial basis through the development of an innovative, scalable and sustainable approach. The project will include a combination of training and technical support across the partner areas. Cognisant of current and likely future public health guidelines and the need for accessible information as part of a replicable model, the proposed project will include a blended approach to learning, focusing on online learning and outdoor classrooms. An online learning management system will be developed and that platform will be used as a means of engaging with participants and as a repository for materials created. Ecological and landscape design trainers will work with an e-learning specialist to create content for online delivery. In common with accepted best practice for innovative initiatives, it is intended that an external formative evaluation process will be undertaken with a focus on the routine monitoring and evaluation of the processes, inputs, outputs and outcomes of the Interterritorial Co-operation Project. This will allow project partners to monitor the implementation of the project as it progresses in real time and to improve delivery or modify approaches in the face of unexpected circumstances.
Buyer: Breffni Integrated CLG T/A Cavan County Local Development

178522 - OMM/EG/2020 - Online News Media Monitoring & Media Evaluation Services Across 20 Markets
Publication date:  21-10-2020
Response deadline:  18-11-2020 12:00   Irish time
Procedure: Restricted Procedure (OJEU)
Description: Tourism Ireland wishes to contract a media evaluation consultancy to support with qualitative media evaluation of global earned media coverage, spanning 20 markets. As part of this contract, the supplier will provide a centralised media monitoring service for online news content across these 20 markets which feeds into the global evaluation database. PLEASE REFER TO THE ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTATION AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOADING FROM FOR FULL DETAILS OF TOURISM IRELAND'S SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS
Buyer: Tourism Ireland CLG

177584 - ENQEIR735 - Brand Design and Consultancy Services
Publication date:  20-10-2020
Response deadline:  17-11-2020 12:00   Irish time
Procedure: EirGrid Negotiated Procedure (Non OJEU)
Description: A Brand Design and Consultancy service is required for EirGrid group to provide brand positioning and strategy, brand story, tone of voice, messaging, brand architecture, brand naming, brand design, graphic design, digital design, brand guidelines, brand insights and recommendations, marketing and communication, brand review, brand logo and identity, stakeholder engagement and brand management.
Buyer: EirGrid plc

178478 - SCC2020/041 - Request for the SME Innovation(Brexit)Programme 2020
Publication date:  20-10-2020
Response deadline:  03-11-2020 12:00   Irish time
Procedure: 1. Open Procedure (NON OJEU)
Description: An Innovation Programme to support the Businesses of the North West counties of Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim The LEOs in the North West Region, led by LEO Sligo, now propose to deliver a SME Innovation Programme in 2020 which will be run in 3 locations in Counties Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal. This contract will be completed by Sligo County Council on behalf of LEOs Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim. The key objectives of the programme, to be delivered to at least 30 microbusinesses (i.e. businesses employing up to ten employees) in the manufacturing, internationally traded and potential to internationally trade sectors across Counties Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo, will be to: • establish what level participating businesses are at in the innovation spectrum; • engender or, where appropriate, enhance a culture and practice of innovation at all levels (owner-manager and staff) in eligible microbusinesses; • identify at least one innovation project specific to each participating business which will enable it to add further to its value proposition; • place a strong focus on how, as part of the innovation process, participating businesses would keep systems in place to take full and relevant account of their existing client needs, learn how to identify emerging/future needs of their clients and, to the greatest degree possible, how to set themselves up to stay ahead of their competitors in terms of service delivery; • embed in the culture of the business a determination to keep a strong and ongoing focus on innovation through people, products and processes; • include relevant real-life success stories in the innovation sphere as part of the delivery of the programme; • point and act as a catalyst for participants to access funding supports available to assist them implement innovative actions identified, and to report on this measure; • provide a report to the Local Enterprise Office on the experience of assisting the process of embedding innovation in micro enterprises, to include recommendations taking into account
Buyer: Sligo County Council

178466 - DISC-2020-01-IT - Website Design, Development and Support
Publication date:  19-10-2020
Response deadline:  09-11-2020 13:00   Irish time
Procedure: 1. Open Procedure (NON OJEU)
Description: This project aim is to provide a complete redesign of this website including content, structure and functionality so as to highlight and promote Discovery Programme’s work, ensuring that it works as strong communication device in a way that is also accessible across all operating systems and devices. The project should also provide website support.
Buyer: The Discovery Programme: Centre for Archaeology and Innovation Ireland

COVID-19: Cabin for head to toe disinfection of people is offered under distribution services agreement

A Bulgarian company active in the field of automation of industrial production offers for distribution a cabin for head to toe disinfection of people, which ensures prevention from further virus/bacteria spread, while also being harmless, safe to work within closed areas, easy for installation and use and customizable. The cabin is suitable for use in COVID-19 conditions and is also appropriate for disinfection and prevention against other pathogenic microorganisms.

Innovative and non-invasive system for detection of alcohol in the blood.

A Croatian company, in cooperation with University from Zagreb Osijek, is developing an innovative, noninvasive transdermal sensor/detector for continuous monitoring of alcohol in sweat/breath of the examinee. The market and potential users of the product are people with alcohol dependence, insurance companies, health insurance funds, medical institutions, but also work organizations. They are looking for a partner to sign a Joint venture or Financial agreement.

Danish cyber-security start-up offers advanced anti-hacking trap under commercial agency agreement

An innovative Danish start-up in the cyber-security sector has developed a system which mimics a network element and can provide early warning against hacking attempts. The product is now deployed in both the USA and Europe and the company is looking to expand further via commercial agency agreements.

French handcraft producer of high-end leather goods is looking for retail partners abroad with a boutique or an online store

A French SME designs and produces high-quality leather products in full-grain Novonappa calfskin by hand in four colours. The SME has created original pieces with origami techniques. It offers small items such as cases (phone, glasses, cards...) and accessories for decoration (mouse pad, coasters...), clothing (belts, bowties...) or travelling (bags...). It offers tailor-made cases for Master Chef knive. The SME seeks retail partners abroad or online shops for distribution services agreements.

A French manufacturer of isothermal mail envelopes is looking for distributors

A French SME has developed an isothermal envelope for up to 48 hours protection of products sensitive to the temperature. That envelope solves the problems bound to the respect for the cold chain during the shipping. The firm is looking for trade partners, such as suppliers of transport packaging, for distribution agreements.

German cyber security company specialised in defence-as-a-service security solutions offers license agreements

A German cyber security company, specialised in innovative and scalable solutions for defending data, assets and brands against global cyberattacks, is looking for commercialisation partners in Europe interested in a licensing agreement. They have developed an innovative automated platform which enables to deal with the growing number of complex cyber threats and security incidents more effectively and faster.

Method for communication device tracking, search for a research partner

A German research institute has developed a concept for the alignment of transmitting and receiving antennas of future communication systems in the mm wave and terahertz frequency range. The concept is based on the miniaturisation of the combination of two orthogonally aligned radio beacons from terrestrial radio navigation. A partner for cooperative research and development is being sought for the new basic technology.

German company developed an intelligent parking lot rental tool and is now looking for technnology and commercial partners

The German company digitizes parking lots using different appropriate technologies. With the real-time data created using different sensor technologies, they are able to analyse the usage of the lots and then allow a dynamic monetization by flexibly renting out parts of the parking lot that are not used. Lessors and lessees can use the platform (app). They are looking for partners for technical (sensor technology) and commercial cooperations (companies with access to parking lots).

Scalable battery calorimeter for applications in battery developments and quality assurance – looking for licensees

A German research institute has development a scalable system for the measurement of calorimetric data of batteries. Calorimetric data indicate defects at an early stage and can thus help to predict a "thermal runaway" in later operation. The scalable system is suitable for applications in battery developments - new module designs as well as new battery materials - and quality assurance. The research institute is searching for licensees and partners for research cooperation agreements.

Radius forward measurement for spherical elements of optical measurement instruments – looking for a licensee

A German metrology research institute has developed a solution which enables efficient measurements of strong curved spherical segments which are often used in optical measurement equipment. Currently measurements of the radius of spherical segments are limited by the thermal expansion of the measuring device which has a very high factor which limits the uncertainty. The research institute is searching for licensees.

Hungarian producer of detergents and cleaners is looking for distributors from the European countries

The Hungarian company specialized in the production of detergents and cleaners, such as washing gel, washing soda, washing nuts., production of cleaning and disinfecting products as paving stone cleaner, oil stain cleaner, artificial stone cleaner, yacht cleaner is looking for mainly European partners to establish distribution service agreement.

Smart Waste Bin

An innovative spin-off coming from an engineering SME based in Italy has developed a waste management solution, enhancing cleaner cities and money saving for citizens, able to quantify waste and to measure waste bins levels. The smart lock can be opened by authorized people as the product is managed through a user friendly management software which can be integrated into third systems. The start-up is interested in commercial deals with technical assistance with firms managing waste.

Italian alkaline vegan natural products/ methods provider to optimise health, beauty and regeneration of the body seeks distributors

The company was founded in 2015 and is based in South Tyrol in Italy but its activity takes place internationally. It offers alkaline, vegan certified products and methods to enhance health, beauty and regeneration of the body. Due to expansion the company is looking for trade partners via a distribution service agreement to offer products on external markets, especially in Germany, Austria, Great Britain, France, Sweden, Russia and USA.

Alternative packaging supplier sought for olive oil bottles sent through e-commerce channels

An Italian company, olive oil producer, is interested in getting in touch with producers of paper or other packaging solutions that could be applied to olive oil e-commerce expeditions. The Italian company is interested in commercial agreements and especially in existing solutions that company does not know yet but could be applicable to the specific case: paper packaging provided in small quantities or alternative packaging solutions through supplier agreement.

Kosovar manufacturer specialized in the production of food and beverage products is looking for distributors

Kosovar company specialized in producing healthy and nutritious food and drinks made of premium class fruits and vegetables is looking for partners under a distribution services agreement.

A Lithuanian company specialized in the production, repairs and testing of marine/industrial piping is looking for partners for manufacturing or subcontracting agreement.

A Lithuanian company designing and manufacturing piping systems for marine onshore, offshore projects. Moreover, the company is involved in oil and gas sector, chemical, water depuration, gas separation. The company is offering their servies under manufacturing and subcontracting agreement.

Lithuanian producer of frozen vegan and gluten free desserts is looking for food service distributors and healthy food online shops.

The Lithuanian producer specializes in healthy vegan, gluten, and soy-free desserts. The company was launched in 2015 and focuses only on creating innovative free-from desserts. The assortment offers a wide range of cakes, tarts, and snacks that may come in various forms, sizes, and packaging. The possible cooperation is under the distribution agreement.

A Moldovan farm that has been specialized in high-quality organic rosehip products looks for distributors under a distribution services agreement.

A Moldovan farm that has been specialized in high-quality organic rosehip products with high-concentration of vitamine C looks for distributors under a distribution services agreement. The activity of the farm is the cultivation of organic rosehip species and their processing.

Dutch designer of women’s vegan leather goods is looking for manufacturers or suppliers of plant leathers.

The Dutch designer started in 2019 and has created a high-end brand with timeless women’s belts, bags, laptop cases, wallets and accessories. The strategic aim is to use only vegan leather materials from plants and therefore the SME is looking for a cooperation with manufactures or suppliers of plant leathers. The SME offers a manufacturing or supplier agreement.

A Polish producer of sleepwear and loungewear is offering their products under distribution services agreement

A Polish company deals with the production, designing and sale of the luxury sleepwear and loungewear is looking for partners under distribution services agreement.

Russian producer of honey and sweets is looking for distributors

The Russian company from the Sverdlovsk region specializes in the wholesale and retail sale of organic food (honey, honey-based products, wholesome sweets). The company is ready to conclude a distribution services agreement.
All information published in the Business Bulletin is published in good faith. This means that the Business Bulletin does not endorse any event or promotional material and recommends that readers should satisfy themselves as to the bonafides of content contributed to and published in the Business Bulletin.


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