The Business Bulletin - Issue 248 - 26th May 2014


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Each week Nick O' Shiel, Chief Executive, Omagh Enterprise Company, blogs on issues related to enterprise, technology and the economy. This week Nick discusses the importance of local newspapers.

Many commentators highlight the decline of local newspapers and suggest an uncertain future. Others argue their role has not changed and that there is and always will be an appetite for local news. In today’s digital environment it is worth asking who is right.

Local newspapers have survived and thrived for over three hundred years by printing news and information of interest to local people and communities.
They generate income by helping businesses sell products and for much of the period have been profitable, not least because they have had relatively little competition.

The printing of local news is supported by demand from people and businesses wishing to advertise cars, homes, jobs and other items on a regular basis.

Local papers are a part of people’s lives and habits, as they are read with interest by an audience that wants to be kept informed and up to date with local events.

In recent years, however, the landscape has changed for a number of reasons: the recession; changing habits and the internet.

The recession and associated austerity measures mean local newspapers, like all businesses, have to cut costs, make savings, reduce staff numbers and cut back on general resources.

Changing habits and lifestyles have affected newspaper circulation, as people are busier, have less time for reading and are more inclined to find other ways to get news.

In more recent years, the internet has had a huge effect as the online migration of many traditional areas of newspaper advertising has had a negative impact.

Many core advertising areas - cars, homes, jobs – are suffering and as a result newspapers have to find ways to reduce costs and increase sales.
One way to compete is to increase digital audiences and some papers have successfully done so, albeit struggle to generate sufficient income from online offerings.

Looking ahead, there continues to be a demand for local news and local newspapers are best positioned to deliver it in a way that engages readers and builds a sense of community.

Similarly, local newspapers hold immense local archives and in the age of digital there are opportunities to create and sell new products and services based on such information.

SO, local newspapers, like many other businesses, have entered a new era and must reinvent what they do and how they do it to stay in business.

What do you think?

Do you support your local newspaper?

I look forward to your comments.

Nick O'Shiel,
Omagh Enterprise
Great Northern Road, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, BT78 5LU
Tel: +44 (0) 28 8224 9494  Fax: +44 (0) 28 8224 9451



Interested in meeting the buyers for the Windsor Park stadium development?
We are holding a Meet the Buyer event at which businesses will find out about current and upcoming sub contracting opportunities arising from the Windsor Park stadium development.
Delivered in partnership between the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), Belfast City Council, Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) and Irish Football Association (IFA), at this event local businesses will have the opportunity to meet the main contractor for the Windsor Park Stadium, O’Hare & McGovern.
A range of supply chain opportunities are available in the following areas:

A full list of opportunities can be found
Event information
When:             Thursday 29 May 2014   
Where:            Great Hall, City Hall
Time:              Registration at 09.45am, event starts at 10.00am.

How to register
If you are interested in attending this event you must register in advance.  To register email with your name, business name, address, email and contact telephone number or telephone 028 9050 0512.

Please note: Places will be allocated on a first come basis and preference will be given to businesses located in the Belfast City Council area.  Registration will also be limited to one attendee per organisation.

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. You can find a list of current tender opportunities on the 
CPD website. Again, there is no email alert facility that we can find which makes the content difficult to adapt to the Bulletin format.

Please see for the current list of Northern Ireland opportunities.

Redditch Borough Council is seeking suitability qualified and experienced organisations for the proposed provision of outdoor painted murals
GB-Swindon: Dynamic Light Scattering Particle Size Analyser with Zeta Potential Measurement
Supply of Near Infra-red Scanners
ESX CAWS Children and Adults Wheelchair Service
GB-Manchester: call for evidence
GB-Stevenage: Alcohol Telephone Counselling Service
GB-Watford: Programme and Project Management Support
LSC2160a -Conservation of Strangers Dining Room
LSC2160-Conservation of Strangers Dining Room
GB-Bath: 8 West & 2 East Toilets Refurbishment
Palliative Care Beds for Great Yarmouth and Waveney, East Anglia
Works at 61 New Lane
Tees Valley and North East England Hydrogen Strategy
AQP (Any Qualified Provider) Primary Care Psychological Therapies ? NHS Nottingham City CCG
Church Path Remedial Works, East Cowes, Isle of Wight
Joint Community Messaging System
Project Discard Survival Wales
GB-Watford: Programme and Project Management Support
Tees Valley and North East England Hydrogen Strategy
United Kingdom-Maidstone: Software package and information systems
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service PSN IPVPN replacement
United Kingdom-Reading: Billing system
United Kingdom-Caernarfon: Engineering services
United Kingdom-London: Internet service providers ISP
United Kingdom-Leicester: IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support
United Kingdom-Winchester: Business and management consultancy and related services
GB-Bicester: Tachograph Analysis Software Service
United Kingdom-Merthyr Tydfil: Architectural design services
United Kingdom-Norwich: Vehicle location system
United Kingdom-Middlesbrough: Environmental issues consultancy services
UK SBS IT140029 Testing of Computers and Computer Servers for compliance with Ecodesign legislation
United Kingdom-Reading: Computer equipment and supplies
United Kingdom-Sheffield: Clinical information system
United Kingdom-Wakefield: Software package and information systems
United Kingdom-Edinburgh: Software implementation services
United Kingdom-London: Health and safety services
United Kingdom-Borehamwood: Financial information systems
LSC2160-Conservation of Strangers Dining Room
GB-Bath: 8 West & 2 East Toilets Refurbishment
LSC2160a -Conservation of Strangers Dining Room
Works at 61 New Lane
Tender for Supply of Ironmongery Goods
Norway-Gardermoen: Playground equipment
Norway-Gardermoen: Gas cylinders
Ireland-Dublin: Fasteners
Ireland-Dublin: Waste and rubbish containers and bins
United Kingdom-Bristol: Asbestos removal services
United Kingdom-Lanark: Buildings of particular historical or architectural interest
United Kingdom-Kilmarnock: Works for complete or part construction and civil engineering work
United Kingdom-Wakefield: Construction work
United Kingdom-Lancaster: Building construction work
United Kingdom-Londonderry: Construction work for buildings relating to education and research
Church Path Remedial Works, East Cowes, Isle of Wight
That Could Be Me Exhibition Build
Demolition of Various Structures and Buildings Former Saltergate Health Centre and Marsden Street Clinic Site, Chesterfield

Belfast City Council Tenders are available at

First Edition Publications, The Technology Centre,
Townsend Enterprise Park, Townsend St., BELFAST BT13 2ES 

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