Oct 17


Sat 25th October 2014 1.30pm

Our annual Bray Trick or Treat Parade, organised by the Bray & District Chamber is back again this year, due to popular demand following a great event last year.

Superheroes, Princesses, witches, wizards and everyone is invited to come along to the CivicPlaza, in front of the Mermaid Arts Centre, at 1.30pm on Saturday 25th Oct. Fancy Dress is a must, for Mums and Dads too! The Parade is getting bigger each year, FREE fun for everyone! Leaving the Civic Centre, the parade will snake and zig zag through the town, calling into participating shops, to collect goodies and treats (for the party later)

The parade will make its way to the Powerscourt Suite at the Royal Hotel, where the fun starts with a Halloween party with DJ and spot prizes for Best dressed, etc.

The event is kindly sponsored by the local participating businesses.

Oct 16

Window Display Demonstration

There will be a demonstration on Window Displays for all retailers, to be held in the Chamber House on Tuesday 21st OCT at 10.30am. This is a FREE for all event and everyone is welcome – you never know what ideas you might pick up!  If you
would like to attend you can call the chamber on 01 2828248 or email:

Oct 15

Notice to Retailers & Members

October 2014

Dear Retailers,

The Town Centre Committee would like to remind you that the Underground Car Park at the Mermaid Arts Theatre/ Civic Centre is available free of charge on Saturdays & Sundays.  We recommend that Shop owners/Managers & Staff avail of this. This in turn should free up parking spaces and provide ample parking for customers.  The barriers will be in the open position.

Below are some points we would like to bring to your attention:

(1)    PARKING: At our last Town Centre Committee Meeting it was agreed to approach the Town Council for Free parking for customers.  The Committee have come up with two ideas, and we would love to know, as soon as possible, which you would prefer by emailing info@braychamber.ie or calling the chamber office on 01-2828248.

  • Free Parking on Saturday’s from Halloween until Christmas
  • Free From 3.00pm every day from Halloween until Christmas

(2)    GRAFFITI: It has been highlighted by retailers and MDC officials alike that we have an issue of graffiti defacing shop fronts, shutters and walls around the town centre. This is unsightly and un-acceptable. Traditionally the Council have undertaken the role of removing graffiti from premises and have been held liable for damage to shutters, however they are not in a position to do this again. John Fitzpatrick (Bray Garda) has provided a document with details on Graffiti and steps to prevent and remove it. One important point is the only way to stop graffiti is to remove it immediately. Paint over it and do not ignore it! If ignored, it will spiral. There have been arrests with charges pending in one case regarding graffiti offenses. It is up to all of us to make our premises look as welcoming and professional as we can. We will be writing to the estate agents in charge of vacant premises to do the same.



WINDOW DISPLAY DEMO: There will be a demonstration on Window Displays held in the Chamber House on Tuesday 21st OCT at 10.30am. This is a FREE for all event and everyone is welcome – you never know what ideas you might pick up!  If you would like to attend you can call the chamber on 01 2828248 or email: info@braychamber.ie


(4)    SUMMERFEST: We are now gathering ideas to make plans for the Town Centre Summerfest 2015. So if you have an idea or suggestion that can be manifested into an event, please give a call to the Chamber office on 01-2828248 or email info@braychamber.ie. Get involved! Remember we are all in this together.

(5)    SECURITY (a) We have an agreement from Bray Municipal District officials to install CCTV in the car park on the Florence road/ Quinnsboro road. We will pursue this as with the dark nights on the way, we hope to make the town a safer place to shop.  With security in mind we have organised a Crime Control Presentation on Tuesday 4th November at 10.30am given by Christy O’ Rourke of Crime Control Bray in Chamber House.  This will be about Crime Control, Security Procedures and safety in the workplace.  This is a FREE event, If you would like to attend, please contact the Chamber on 01 2828248 or email info@braychamber.ie.

(b)   We have asked for an increase Garda presence over the winter months.

(c)    We have spoken to the Garda about the anti-social begging in the town. They have asked that we ring the station immediately and request to send a Garda to the incident. This especially applies to ATM and car parking machines. Always make a record or note of the name of the contact Garda and the time of the call – so a follow up is possible. Please realise if we don’t ring it will not improve the current situation. (Last week I made 3 calls on 3 separate days). Eventually it will be a non-desirable area for beggars.

(d)   HALLOWEEN PARADE: The Halloween parade will be taking place on Saturday 25th OCT, starting at 1.30pm at the Civic Plaza, at the Mermaid. Any retailers willing to participate in giving out sweets please call the Chamber on 01-2828248.

(e)   CHRISTMAS IN BRAY: You will have received a request to donate towards the Christmas Lights in Bray. Without lights, the town will be uninviting and un-atmospheric. There are lots of events planned to encourage shoppers to come into the town centre to shop, including the annual Bray Christmas lights switch on with Santa. Please be aware that without your support and contribution, THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN. We would urge you to support your town. The lights are provided for your customers!


Please support your town. Don’t leave it to others!!! 


Rory Benville                                                       Linda Fitzpatrick


Oct 10

SIPTU’s Call for Elimination of 9% VAT Rate Bizarre

siptuChambers Ireland has today (09/10/14) renewed its call for the 9% VAT rate for the hospitality and tourism sectors to be retained in Budget 2015.

 Speaking this afternoon, Mark O’Mahoney, Director of Policy and Communications, Chambers Ireland said “SIPTU’s call for the elimination of the 9% VAT rate is simply bizarre. The hospitality and tourism sectors are labour intensive, and employ significant numbers of people in a variety of businesses. It is vital that the businesses in these sectors are supported in order to protect jobs. Maintaining the 9% rate will help protect and grow employment throughout Ireland.”


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Oct 10

Bray Chamber President calls for Vision and Action

rory_80The President of County Wicklow Chamber of Commerce, Rory Benville, has called for ‘vision and action’ from the Chairs of the various Municipal Councils if the Main Streets in our towns are to be saved.

Mr Benville, who as County President represents Bray, Greystones, Wicklow and Arklow chambers said “There is a widespread acceptance that the traditional town centre is in crisis primarily due to the development of large out of town shopping centres with free car parking. In an unintended way local town officials and councillors have facilitated this decline by introducing car parking charges and traffic management designed to discourage cars from stopping either in or near the centre of towns.

“ The importance of free and easy access is recognised by developers of these large shopping centres where parking is brought up to, under and above the shops- Dundrum Shopping Centre is a case in point. In Carrickmines the traffic is brought right into the development and the shops are built around the car parks which are, of course, free.

The introduction of parking charges in our towns should have been accompanied by the construction of large public car parks which would allow all day parking and ideally free parking in the town centre. But the required infrastructure was never provided and it appears the Local Authority is not now in a position to address this issue in any meaningful way.

The adverse situation is compounded because the revenue stream generated by these charges is regarded as an essential part of the Local authority income. This is misleading in that as shops and offices close, the local authority is losing rates income and have to deal with a build environment of empty and derelict shops. There is also the relentless knock-on effect on other shops and businesses in the town.

If the main street is to work it requires good town centre planning and the cornerstone of this is common sense. On the continent they do not have the same crisis because they have embraced a culture where the town is valued and its environment is enhanced. Pedestrians are accommodated and encouraged with easy and planned access, there are public car parks, pedestrian only streets, markets and cycle-ways – cycle ways that are properly designed and with purpose. In Ireland we tend to build cycle-ways that go nowhere and in many cases are so badly designed they create a danger to the user rather than creating a safe route to and from schools, shops etc .This must stop.

More and more people are spending most of their working time in front of a computer screen which suggest to me that they will not, and do not want to do their shopping online. Why would they? They will want to go to shops where they can socialise, meet friends, relax or chill out. Our town centres could provide the required experience with good planning and common sense.

We can help create a shopping experience which is different and unique to each town. We should encourage small shops;- cafes, art galleries, antique or curio shops along with traditional small shops such as butchers, greengrocers, fishmongers, bakeries, book shops, pharmacies and services such as medical, accountancy, legal to locate in the town centre. The sale of locally produced foods and products should also be encouraged.

We should have variety as variety is the spice of life. Elected councillors need to move in a coordinated way to ensure that this vision can be realised. They need to provide free car parking in the town centres of our county, rates need to be reduced and in due course eliminated  where the shop owner agrees to upgrade his/her premises to a style standard and plan approved by the local planners. There has to be action, a sense of urgency and a plan.

This leadership must be provided by the Chairs of the various Municipal District Councils. We in the Chambers of Commerce will work with the councillors and officials and do our part to ensure that the current downward spiral is halted and reversed progress is made.


Oct 10

Tax system must support enterpreneurs not penalise them

Chambers Ireland has today (09/10/2014) called on Minister Noonan to take note of recommendations made by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation regarding changes to the taxation system that will support entrepreneurship and job creation.

Speaking this morning, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland said “We have consistently called for further support for entrepreneurs in Budget 2015 through a reduction in Capital Gains Tax to 20% and changes to both the Employment Investment Incentive and the Seed Capital Scheme. Now, the Department of Jobs has backed up these calls by including them in their National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship in Ireland. If the Department that has responsibility for supporting job creation thinks these measures are necessary then it is time Minister Noonan took note.”

“We desperately need to improve our cultural view of entrepreneurs. The reality is that they create businesses that create jobs but with enormous pressures and high risk of failure. They deserve to be supported and encouraged by our taxation system, not penalised by it. The measures outlined in today’s plan to encourage entrepreneurship are welcome. However, these measures will only truly be effective if the Government continues support for entrepreneurs throughout their lifetime and that of their business. To achieve this, changes in the taxation system are vital,” he concluded.


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Oct 03

Capital Spending Needed to Future Proof Recovery and Create Jobs

Chambers Ireland has today (03/10/2014) called on the Government to increase capital expenditure in Budget 2015.

 Speaking this morning, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland said “Capital spending by Government is now just over a third of the level in 2008. We are already feeling the impact of the lack of residential construction over the last number of years with the current housing crisis and the same will happen with our infrastructure unless we invest in the future now. Roads and transport generally, water treatment and supply, schools and health and wellbeing services are just some of the capital infrastructure areas crying out for investment.”

“The Government took a soft option during the recession of cutting capital spending rather than taking tougher but potentially more effective options in the long term. Capital spending has made up the majority of spending cuts. This was tolerable in the short term but now is the time for it to be reviewed. We are not looking for 2008 spending levels but rather a return to a more normal level of investment for a recovering economy that will future proof our infrastructure and more importantly create desperately needed jobs,” he concluded.


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Sep 25

New Bray Chamber Executive 2014-2015

Executive 2014The Bray Chamber AGM took place on Thurs 11th Sept in the Chamber House and a new Bray Chamber Executive was voted in. Rory Benville will continue his work as President for another term, while Mick Glynn will take over the Vice Presidency role. Long standing Secretary Patricia McHugh stood down and was replaced by Phyl Farrelly. New Executive members include Gordon Anderson, Jonathan Donnelly, Willie Lewins and John McEvoy. Katrina Farrelly Cooke takes on the role as PRO for the Chamber.

The full list of Bray Chamber Executive Members 2014-2015 include:

Rory Benville (President), Mick Glynn (Vice President), Ian Donnelly (Immediate Past Pres), Phyl Farrelly (Hon Sec), Mary Savage (Hon Treasurer), Alan Prendergast (Auditor), Joe Maguire (Hon Solicitor), Katrina Farrelly-Cooke (Hon PRO), Council Members include: Gordon Anderson, Darren Darker, Jonathan Donnelly, Ruth Donnelly, Eugene Finnegan, Linda Fitzpatrick, Gillian Kelly, Willie Lewins, Ollie Mahony, John McEvoy, Pat O’Suilleabhain, Paul Prendergast.

Sep 11

Bray Chamber AGM Thursday 11th Sept 8pm

The Annual Bray Chamber AGM will take place in the Chamber House on Thursday 11th Sept 2014 at 8pm. For more information please contact Bray Chamber at 01-2828248 or email info@braychamber..ie.

Aug 19

Pre-Budget Briefing with Stephen Donnelly

Stephen DonnellyPre-Budget Briefing with Stephen Donnellly

Tuesday 16th September:

6.30pm – Coffee on arrival

6.45pm – Briefing

7.15pm – open floor 



Message from Stephen Donnelly TD

Dear Bray Chamber Member,

With Budget 2015 drawing close, I would very much like to meet up with you – to hear what you need from the budget, and to make your voice heard in Dáil Éireann. Most businesses in Bray and across Wicklow have taken a hammering in recent years, and what I hear regularly from the business community is that not enough is being done by Government – either centrally or locally. I recently introduced an Examinership Bill, which would make the option far more attractive for small business owners, and will be introducing to the Dáil Senator Feargal Quinn’s Bill on Upward-Only Rents. I am in regular contact with the Dublin Chamber and will be incorporating some of their budget proposals in my own Budget 2015 submission. Read the rest of this entry »

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