Best Dressed Family prize to take place at Light Up Your Christmas Event

Best Dressed Family prize to take place at Light Up Your Christmas Event

We hope you are all looking forward to the Christmas Lights and Santa Parade on November 19th in Wicklow Town.

Wicklow Town & District Chamber is always so proud to bring this event to our gorgeous town and after so many delays and restrictions in the last few years we can honestly say that the anticipation and excitement for this year is palpable.

In addition to the lights ceremony and a visit from the big man himself Wicklow Chamber, in partnership with the Wicklow Christmas Market, is also delighted to announce our special Best Dressed Family prize.

Simply rock up to the lights in your best Christmas jumpers to be in with a chance of winning a family ticket (2 adults + 2 children) to the Santa Express in the Wicklow Christmas Market.

The runners up will receive a family pass (2 adults + 2 children) for the Eco Ice Skating at the Wicklow Christmas Market.

To enter the competition please approach the stage in Fitzwilliam Square between 4 – 4.30pm and we will take a quick photo and your name. The judges will then announce the winners after Santa Claus himself helps us turn on our lights.

More information about the Santa Express and Eco Ice Skating can be found at

The market will open on November 19th and run on selected days through December 18th. Please see website for exact dates.

We can barely contain our excitement just typing this. Let’s LIGHT UP OUR CHRISTMAS here in Wicklow Town.

Light Up Your Christmas in Wicklow Town

Light Up Your Christmas in Wicklow Town

Light Up Your Christmas in Wicklow Town

On Saturday, 19th November at 4.30pm, everyone is invited to take a stroll down Wicklow Town’s main street for the return of the annual Santa Parade and turning on of the Christmas lights.

With a special appearance from Santa Claus and performances from The Bandit it promises to be a treat filled family event.

Santa Parade Start / Finish: Market Square / Fitzwilliam Square

Christmas Lights / Live Music: Fitzwilliam Square

To ensure crowd safety, road closures (Main Street) will take effect from 3pm until 6pm please leave sufficient time to park and walk to the Santa Parade.

Children must be accompanied by a parent / guardian at all times.

To kick off the Festive season, Wicklow Chamber would like to launch a competition for families.

If you would like to enter this competition, all you have to do is come to the Turning on of the Christmas Lights on Saturday 19th November wearing your best Christmas Jumper.

The family wearing the best festive jumpers will win 4 Santa Express tickets (2 adults 2 kids family ticket) and the runner up will win 4 Eco ice rink tickets (2 adult 2 children family ticket), courtesy of Wicklow Christmas Market.

Santa Parade / Christmas Lights 2022 is brought to you by Wicklow Town & District Chamber of Commerce and Wicklow Municipal District.

November 19th also sees the return of the popular Wicklow Christmas Market, bigger and better than last year with plenty of fun to be had for the entire family.

Starting from the weekend of the 19th of November through until the 18th of December. Returning attractions for 2022 include the incredibly popular Eco Ice Rink which will be 60% bigger than 2021. The Market is FREE to the public, with over 50 twinkling chalets offering food, activities and entertainment for the whole family.

That’s not all… Wicklow Christmas Market will have a magical funfair, live music and entertainment every weekend to enjoy this festive season, this is an event to be enjoyed by all the family.

For more information on the Wicklow Christmas Market please email them directly on

For ticket information or bookings please visit


Wicklow Town & District Chamber is also delighted to announce the return of the Customer Appreciation weekend which will run from November 17th to the 20th. Participating retailers will have a poster on their premises alerting customers to their involvement with loads of offers and discounts ready to get you into the Christmas Spirits.

IBEC downgrades growth forecasts for 2023

IBEC downgrades growth forecasts for 2023

Business group Ibec has downgraded its forecast for domestic demand due to rising costs and a weaker outlook for the global economy.

In its latest Quarterly Economic Outlook, Ibec said domestic demand will grow by 3% in 2023, a downgrade from close to 4% in its previous set of forecasts in July 2022.

The report states that the international economy is in a place of significant challenge due to high rates of inflation, rising interest rates, accelerated monetary tightening and volatile energy markets.

For 2023, Ibec is forecasting that GDP will grow at a rate of 2%.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Ibec Head of National Policy & Chief Economist Gerard Brady said a more aggressive approach by central banks was part of the reason for its downgrade.

“What we’ve seen that has changed is central banks reaction to those rising costs and inflation across the global economy,” he said.

“We now see quicker paces of interest rate hikes, quicker paces of monetary tightening across the global economy, and because of that a lot of our major trading partners – because of this reset to normal interest rates in particular – are predicted to be in recession in 2023.

“For a small, open economy like Ireland that’s obviously going to spill over into our own growth rates – even though we still expect growth next year in the Irish economy.”

Ibec’s report says that while Ireland will avoid a recession, households and businesses will feel the slowdown in many of our major trading partners.

“For some it will [feel like a recession],” Mr Brady said. “We see across the business community lots of our members suffering from really significant costs – particularly on energy, but more broadly”.

“And that will cause challenges for a lot of companies,” he added.
According to the outlook, further monetary tightening by central banks carries risks for both financial stability and the broader global economy throughout next year.

“The big question into 2023 is how successful central banks are at reducing inflation over the next 12-18 months,” Mr Brady said. “If they’re successful, this is a reset, a transition that will go on for a year or 18 months and pass.

“If they’re not then we could see a longer period of challenge for lots of households and businesses across the economy.”

However, Ibec said that Ireland has the tools available to weather the storm, with Government and consumer finances in relatively good condition.

“The Government still have a budget surplus and have put away a lot of saving in terms of money over the last year and into next year, which will help,” he said. “If needs be the Government do have the firepower, unlike a lot of other countries.”

Mr Brady said that the support measures in Budget 2023 were putting money in the right direction, and it would become clear over the winter if they were enough to help firms struggling with higher costs.

Ibec said that measures such as the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme should be timely and adequate in order to protect the business economy throughout the winter.

“We also see households with record savings rates, so some households do have buffers which will help them through the next year or so,” he said.

While the open nature of Ireland’s economy also made it more exposed to global shifts, Mr Brady also said it would help accelerate any pick-up in growth in the future.

“We, unlike the rest of Europe, aren’t purely tied to the European economy, which is probably the worst performer of the major economies next year,” he said. “We also have a tie-in to the US which is predicted to do a lot better [next year].”

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Wicklow Chamber presents Halloween Treasure Hunt

Wicklow Chamber presents Halloween Treasure Hunt

Wicklow Chamber of Horrors presents the Halloween Treasure Hunt.

Gather your little ghouls and goblins and haunt Wicklow Town on Saturday October 29th.

Keep the little monsters entertained by taking part in this fun and interactive hunt and even be in with a chance to win some cool Wicklow Town Vouchers.

3 little devils can win vouchers to spend in loads of local stores including Toymaster, Bridge Street Books, The Sports Room among many others.

To get your question sheet and full details click here

Send your blood, guts and completed form to or by sending a photo our Instagram page @wicklowchamberofcommerce or Facebook page @Wicklowtown.

Entries close at midnight October 29th. Winners will be drawn on November 1st.

Have a wickedly good time and Best Witches to you all

Burke Oil Calendar Launch & Monster Raffle and Auction

Burke Oil Calendar Launch & Monster Raffle and Auction

You are invited to attend the launch of the highly popular Annual Burke Oil calendar for 2023, which will take place in The Halpin Room in Tinakilly House on 10th November at 8pm. (Finger food and refreshments will be served).

As it is the 10th anniversary of the printing of the first calendar, the management of Burke Oil have decided to mark this event with a monster raffle and auction, with all proceeds raised being donated to Wicklow Cancer Support, who do so much good work in our community for cancer patients and their families.  

The Wicklow Cancer Support Art Group have produced many paintings over the past 10 years of the calendar and these will also be on display. If you would like to own one of these fabulous paintings you can make a donation on the night (see Burke Oil Facebook Page for a glimpse of some of the beautiful paintings available on the night).

As a past president of the Chamber, I would be grateful if all Chamber members could see their way to support this very worthy cause by purchasing raffle tickets or supporting the auction on the night. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Pascal Burke

International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence to be set-up

International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence to be set-up

Ireland is to be the location for a new International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence.

The centre will act as an international hub from which the finance community based in Ireland will help develop a response to sustainability.

It will conduct research, help develop talent and conduct leadership activities.

Its aim will be to help finance firms to design and implement new financial mechanisms that will help with the movement to a net-zero economy.

The centre is one of the targets of the Government’s Sustainable Finance Roadmap and will help deliver the Ireland for Finance Strategy 2025.

The venture is backed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Skillnet.

“Sustainable finance is critical for Ireland’s future growth in financial services ensuring the industry has the strategies and skills needed to take action,” said Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris.

“The collaboration between my Department and the Department of Finance through Skillnet Ireland, Sustainable Finance Ireland, the UNDP and EU Climate-KIC to develop the Centre will support the sector’s future talent development needs and inspire new people to enter this growing new area of work.”

The centre was launched at the start of Climate Finance Week Ireland.

“The reorientation of the financial system towards sustainability is only beginning but has a clear trajectory with real opportunities for countries, companies and communities that show leadership,” said Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Finance.

“The moment is right for leading financial centres to take a quantum leap to transition in this direction; in doing so, serve the needs of the real economy and support efforts at limiting climate change and biodiversity loss.”

It is hoped that it will be operational by the middle of January next year.

“The International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence will help in addressing the challenge of the current finance model not working for both the people and the planet,” said Marcus Netto, Director, UNDP Sustainable Finance Hub.

“In advance of the upcoming climate talks – COP27, its establishment is to be welcomed.”

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Budget 2023 must alleviate acute energy and labour cost pressures

Budget 2023 must alleviate acute energy and labour cost pressures

Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, today said many retail businesses are struggling to cope with rapidly increasing energy and wider cost pressures, which will become even more acute over the coming months. The group called for decisive and far-reaching government supports in the upcoming budget to help off-set spiralling energy price hikes and rising labour market costs, including commercial rates relief. A failure to act will result in business failures and job losses.

Setting out the group’s Budget 2023 priorities, Retail Ireland Director Arnold Dillon said: “The post-Covid boost to retail was short-lived. Businesses are under intense pressure and are struggling to manage rising energy costs. These problems have been compounded by the cumulative cost of ongoing labour market reforms. Unless significant further measures are introduced to support businesses through the winter, the viability of many will be in question. The government has the resources to support business and consumers, now is the time to act.

Retail Ireland has set out to Government its detailed proposals to address energy and labour market costs, and support town and city centre rejuvenation. These include:

• Energy costs: Energy price hikes are making it very difficult for retail businesses to maintain profitability, with knock-on implications for investment and jobs. New government support schemes are required along with new incentives to support businesses improve energy efficiency. A commercial rate payment break should be introduced to help businesses manage spiralling energy cost increases.

• Labour market costs: Inflationary pressures are being compounded by the cumulative cost of ongoing labour market reforms. The rollout of pension auto-enrolment, the living wage, statutory sick pay and other leave proposals will dramatically increase labour costs over the coming years. Budget 2023 should introduce a new labour market transition rebate, funded from the National Training Fund (NTF), to support the viability of companies managing this adjustment. This should include an initial break from NTF payments, 1% of payroll, and a further rebate of up to 2% of payroll (or two years payments) equivalent in training, skills or productivity vouchers. 

• Town and city centre rejuvenation: The growth of online retail and the challenge of Covid means much more effort is needed to make our town and city centres attractive places to shop, socialise and work. A commercial rates exemption scheme should be introduced to incentivise occupiers of commercial property to carry out approved upgrades, including energy efficiency initiatives. More investment to improve the attractiveness of our public spaces and public transport links is also needed and a more visible Garda presence is needed in our urban centres.

“Having been through the disruption of Brexit and Covid, acute inflationary pressures now risk undermining a sustainable recovery. Budget 2023 must include significant direct measures to alleviate labour market and energy cost pressures. Government must also support the long-term development of a vibrant and sustainable retail sector into the future. Businesses are investing for the future, in skills and career paths, in their digital platforms, and in more sustainable ways of working. The government must incentivise the necessary investment and actively support businesses on this journey,” concluded Mr Dillon. 

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Wicklow Chamber holds Annual Golf Classic for 2022

Wicklow Chamber holds Annual Golf Classic for 2022

Wicklow Chamber held it’s Annual Golf Classic for 2022 recently and was a big success and a fantastic social event for our members. This was our first Golf Classic in 3 years so we are so delighted to receive the support that we did.

Please find below details and images of the results of our recent Chamber Golf Classic which took place in Wicklow Golf Club on Friday 9th September.

The Committee would like to thank REA Forkin Estates for sponsoring this event, along with all the teams that entered and played a spot of golf on the day and to all the businesses that sponsored a Green/Tee Box.

After a week of wind and rain, the sun came out on Friday and allowed a good day for golf.

Results are as follows:

  • First Prize: Mespil with a score of 93
  • Second Prize: D/Res with a score of 87
  • Third Prize: REA Forkin with a score of 83
  • Front Nine: Brian Murray Financial Services with a score of 44
  • Back Nine: Inverdea Financial Services with a score of 41
  • Nearest to Pin: Ronan Kane
  • Longest Drive: Niall Mahoney
  • Chamber Cup: Cathal Cooney

Eurochambers call for immediate measures to help businesses absorb spiralling energy prices

Eurochambers call for immediate measures to help businesses absorb spiralling energy prices

Leaders of Eurochambres, the European Association of Chambers of Commerce & Industry meeting in Prague today called for immediate measures to help businesses deal with spiralling electricity and gas prices. Specific suggestions from the chambers include targeted financial compensation for businesses, balanced energy saving policies and well-targeted, temporary market interventions.

With an emergency meeting of EU energy ministers scheduled for 9 September, chambers underlined the adverse economic impact of high energy costs on Europe’s recovery and competitiveness during a discussion with the Czech EU Minister, Mikuláš Bek.

“Extremely high energy prices could lead to curtailment of production, which would have disastrous consequences for businesses, the international competitiveness of the European economy and the labour market”, Eurochambres President Luc Frieden reiterated.

The European chamber network calls for solidarity and solutions to secure affordable energy for businesses and consumers with coordinated demand reduction measures being generally welcomed.

Chambers also insist on fair sharing of efforts between the different end-consumers. Households and the public sector still have considerable scope for energy savings, while businesses have already reduced much or their demand across many sectors. It is important to ensure that companies that have already made substantial investments in energy efficiency are not further burdened.

It should be easier to make additional investments into energy efficiency and renewable energy. “We urgently need targeted relief policies, including appropriate financial compensation for businesses, as well as fast permitting procedures for sustainable projects”, Mr Frieden added.

European Chambers of commerce and industry acknowledge that temporary market-based interventions could be necessary to secure affordable prices for end-consumers and to take financial pressure off businesses. However, it is vital to ensure that any measures taken do not impede the functioning of the internal energy market, or jeopardise decarbonisation, the security of supply and energy saving efforts. To avoid unforeseen impacts on cross-border energy flows between member states, we call for a solution at European level. Furthermore, the commission needs to present sufficient details on policy options and the interests of European businesses need to be considered.

Speaking after the Eurochambres meeting Eurochambres Deputy President, and Chambers Ireland Chief Executive, Ian Talbot said:

“The energy crisis that we are experiencing at home is a European wide problem which urgently needs a European wide solution.

“Businesses across the EU need to see a stabilisation in energy costs if we are to be able to plan for the future. We are facing into an extremely difficult winter and everyone at every level will have to make enormous efforts to reduce their energy demands if we are to ensure that essential services are not disrupted, and livelihoods are maintained.

“Solidarity will be needed across the EU if we are to mitigate the worst of the impact of Russia’s energy restrictions. Within members states, solidarity will be needed across sectors and across communities to ensure that the most vulnerable can be supported.”

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