The new President of the Letterkenny Chamber is looking forward to the continued growth of the town as he represents the business community in 2021.
Michael Margey, Head of the Business Faculty at LYIT, was nominated as President of the Chamber at Tuesday’s AGM. He takes over the role from Jimmy Stafford.
Looking ahead to 2021, Margey said there will be many challenges and positives to embrace.
He told Donegal Daily: “2021 has plenty of challenges in front of it but I would face it with great optimism. The evidence of that comes from what’s been happening in the middle of 2020. We saw how well businesses and people have rallied to support each other and to shop local, and we’ve even seen new businesses starting up, such as enterprise businesses and small tech businesses.”
Margey will also be leading the Chamber through a crucial year of adjustment after Brexit.
The Chamber has a planning strategy to meet this challenge in its own way. Margey explained: “We’re going to see increased collaboration between ourselves and the Chamber of Commerce in Derry City and we’re also going to look more at promoting Letterkenny and Derry as the North West City Region.”
There are also positives from 2020, he said, in terms of people moving home and coming back to Donegal.
“I’m very passionate about Letterkenny, the development and growth of it, because it provides opportunities to people and the next generation. There’s a whole ecosystem of jobs, lifestyle and quality of life linked together,” he said.
Born in Ballyshannon, Margey’s work and family life is now centred in Letterkenny. His parents, Patsy and Dorothy are both from Letterkenny and moved back to the town many years ago. His father is retired from the bakery business, while his mother has Annie’s Flower Shop on Lower Main Street. Michael’s wife Edel is a Business lecturer in Ulster University and they have two children who attend Gaelscoil Adhamhnáin in Letterkenny.
Letterkenny, and Donegal as a whole, is a brilliant place to live and work, he said.
“I will be looking forward to continuing to push Donegal, at every opportunity. In terms of Letterkenny, we’re a tech growth hub, we’re one of the larger FinTech clusters outside of the major cities and we want to see that maintained and growing,” he said.
The Chamber, he said, will also encourage business and start-ups at every opportunity.
“Business start-up and enterprise is key to the wellbeing of any business ecosystem,” Margey added.
There will be “plenty to do” as Margey works to keep the flag up for Letterkenny, while also working at the heart of business education. His role as Head of Business Faculty at LYIT also includes Tourism. A big year also lies ahead for LYIT as it marks 50 years in 2021.
“I want to acknowledge the mission of our President Paul Hannigan, which is to serve our public and to help us develop and grow, I would see no difference in that in 2021 as we look to progress and become a Technological University.”
“With that, I am really looking forward to representing Letterkenny and making sure it continues to grow,” he said.