Belfast Chamber urges executive to offer hope to beleaguered businesses

Belfast Chamber has urged the Northern Ireland Executive to publish a comprehensive plan to safely reopen the local economy and offer beleaguered businesses in the city and beyond some hope.

Commenting in advance of today’s Executive meeting, Belfast Chamber Chief Executive Simon Hamilton said, “Every single day, I speak with business owners in Belfast who have borne the brunt of the Executive’s lockdown restrictions. Their businesses have been closed now for 2 months. Many have been closed for the vast majority of the past 11 months. They are struggling. They are anxious. And they are worried about the future of their businesses and the jobs of the people they employ.  They need our Executive to set out a clear and unequivocal reopening plan that puts us all on a path back to some semblance of normality.

We have all been hugely impressed at the brilliant roll out of the vaccine scheme.  People and businesses across the region have made huge sacrifices.  They now need the Executive to give them some hope that better days are ahead. 

The Department for the Economy has today published its Economic Recovery Action Plan. We now need to focus our collective efforts on reopening and recovery. It will be a long, hard journey but it needs to begin with the Executive charting a course out of lockdown and towards recovery”.