Belfast Chamber has today encouraged the Northern Ireland Executive to provide support to local Councils so that they can enhance safety in our city centres and help to create ‘a culture of compliance’ to help tackle the rise in COVID-19 cases across the region.


The organisation – which represents over 500 businesses from across Belfast – has written to Communities Minister Carál NíChuilín to encourage her to provide funds to local Councils so that they can invest in further improving the safety of our high streets with measures like enhanced street cleaning and hand sanitising stations.


Commenting, Belfast Chamber Chief Executive Simon Hamilton said, “Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, businesses in Belfast have stepped forward and done all they can to help make their staff and customers safe.  They’ve spent millions on installing screens, implementing queueing systems, providing PPE and training staff. As we navigate another difficult period, businesses can be relied on to keep playing their part.


Belfast Chamber believes that there is now an added importance in providing additional funds to local Councils to, for example, provide enhanced street cleaning, install hand sanitising stations and employ street ambassadors to help keep people safe.  In our view, this support help to instil public confidence in the safety of our city and town centres and also encourage a culture of compliance where everyone plays their part in combating the coronavirus. The more we remind people of the need to wash our hands, keep our distance and cover our faces both inside and outside of businesses, then the more it will encourage everyone to comply with the regulations.  It is important that the kind of safety measures that are being implemented inside businesses are reflected on the surrounding streets as well.


Belfast Chamber encourages the Executive to provide financial support to our Councils so that they can continue to work closely with the business community to not only continue with the safe reopening of our city and town centres and help traders through this challenging time but also increase the visibility of the measures in place to really create that culture of compliance that we need to combat COVID-19”.