SDLP Economy Spokesperson, Sinead McLaughlin MLA has called for a review to take place urgently into the operation of business support grants provided by Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy.

The Foyle MLA said:

“I am deeply worried by the number of businesses that have fallen outside the criteria for business support provided by the Department for the Economy. We have a range of businesses that were viable before the outbreak of Covid-19, but now face closure for no fault of their own.”

“These include many sole traders, such as self-employed people without sufficient years of trading, including taxi drivers. There are also social enterprises that have been excluded because they are registered charities and some of the manufacturing businesses that have been at the heart of Northern Ireland’s economy for many years.”

“The limited nature of Northern Ireland’s support schemes will make economic recovery that much more difficult. It is also a heartbreaking tragedy for many of these small firms led by dedicated entrepreneurs, who have been let down by a system that has been defined too narrowly.”

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