The CBA board: Eoin O’Sullivan, M&P O Sullivan; Niamh Murphy Etc; Aaron Mansworth Trigon Hotels; Lawrence Owens, Chair and Dave O’Brien of Quintas. Photo: Brian Lougheed

CBA reveals new 5 year strategic framework

One of Cork’s most important business groups has recently released its vision for Cork city for the next five years.

Cork Business Association (CBA), a dedicated voluntary collective of local business owners and managers in Cork city, has released a 5 year strategic framework that outlines a clear vision, objectives, and pillars with actionable steps for the future.

Spearheaded by President Kevin Herlihy, the association embarked on a comprehensive external consultation in 2023, resulting in this commitment to supporting its members and fostering positive change within the city.

Kevin Herlihy expressed confidence in the association's ability to help shape the city's future positively and called on the entire business community to help implement this strategic plan for the betterment of Cork.

At the launch last Friday, he said: “Cork city will double in size over the next 20 years. Businesses need a city that is attractive, but also a city that works. We have to get the key ingredients right – employment, living, and transport.

“Following extensive consultation, we have developed a clear and agreed set of priorities for our voluntary organization. We now present a restructured board and executive and 5 strategic pillars, from which our new committees will develop a set of clear objectives and actions. The framework considers the challenges and opportunities facing businesses in Cork city and will help realize our collective vision of a city where people are drawn to shop, work, socialize, live, and play, where businesses survive, thrive and the city prospers.”

He added that the CBA’s vision is to create an inclusive business community and support network for business owners and managers and to address their interests and concerns. “We will develop initiatives and campaigns that will build upon the inherent pride that we have in our city, generate new business, and help make Cork city a more attractive and vibrant place to do business in. Our projects will be rooted in listening to our members and collaborating with key partners and stakeholders at local and national level to ensure that together we help steer our city with accurate and positive momentum,” he added.

The 5 strategic pillars developed by CBA include:

- Business leadership - CBA champions: As a board driven organisation, CBA has announced a new leadership team with diversified experience and expertise to steer the organisation into the future. This includes the President, Lawrence Owens as Chair, Dave O’Brien from Quintas, Niamh Murphy from ETC, Eoin O’Sullivan from M&P O’Sullivan, and Vice-President Aaron Mansworth from Trigon Hotels. In addition to this, there is a restructured executive with seven new committees, which will be recruiting further members.

- A Safe & Clean Cork City: Safety and cleanliness in the city are leading priorities for members. CBA will continue to work with key stakeholders, conduct regular pulse surveys, develop a number of initiatives that the business community can roll out, and it will run two safe and clean events a year.

- Cork City Centre 2030: A key tenet of the strategic framework of CBA for the next 5 years is ensuring there is a strong vision for Cork city centre to 2030 (and beyond). This committee will lobby and run initiatives in these areas – more offices and employment in the city; an age friendly and playful city that is attractive to all; a housing oriented city centre where people live; improved public service; a significantly reduced level of carbon emissions in the city; flooding protection; submissions on transport; support for the retail and hospitality sector; a thriving Patrick St; an arts and festivals focussed city.

- Networked Events: CBA will also continue to build on previous successes such as their awards events, Cork Business of the Year Awards and Cork Better Building Awards, and they will run more regular business seminars.

- Member Advisory Services: The CBA is to support members and assist with day to day questions or concerns. There will be further training programme and marketing initiatives that promote members and Cork city. CBA will continue to be a voice for city centre businesses and lobby for business interests.See