Support for business through economic slowdown

Enterprise support organisations joined together in Omagh this morning to highlight the help available for businesses in today’s economic slowdown.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster opened the first in a series of support seminars, which brought together local Enterprise Agencies, the Chamber of Commerce, Invest NI, the local Councils and accountancy practices.

Speaking at the event in Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, the Minister said: “I and my Executive colleagues are acutely aware of the pressures on businesses caused by the current economic slowdown. We are determined to do whatever we can to ease the pressure for local companies.”

Today’s event is an extension of the “Navigating through Challenging Times” seminars that Invest NI has been holding for its clients since September.

Arlene Foster continued: “Today we have brought together the main organisations that provide enterprise support locally, including Invest NI, Enterprise Northern Ireland and the Local Enterprise Agencies, the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, Omagh, Fermanagh and Strabane District Councils and local accountancy practices. I welcome their support for this event.

“Each organisation has a wealth of experience and offers a wide range of support for business. Today’s event is an excellent example of a co-ordinated effort to support the wider business community to the benefit of the Northern Ireland economy.”

At the event, each organisation outlined the products and services they offer to help business owners and managers seek out new customers, reduce costs or improve cash flow management. The organisations also brought expert business advisors to provide one to one advice.

The Minister said: “As Enterprise Minister, I am committed to ensuring that the right policies and programmes are in place to deliver on the objectives of the Programme for Government and to ensure that business is best placed to take advantage of the recovery, when it arises.”

Arlene Foster continued: “Locally owned small and medium sized enterprises are key drivers of the Northern Ireland economy. We must, therefore, provide the most effective, efficient and timely support to businesses to ensure their ability to continue to trade is not jeopardised.

“Some companies are facing the greatest challenge of their business life. Through today’s event, we hope to show that, whatever the challenges, support is available.

"It will offer very clear, practical advice on what can be done to successfully navigate through these current challenging times and sow the seeds for future growth,” she concluded.