‘We help our members grow through a variety of networking opportunities.’

COVID-19 UPDATE: Friday 20th March 2020 (Issue No.3)

We just wanted to update you on a couple of issues this morning.

Another update will follow this afternoon.
Along with Belfast Chamber, Derry Chamber and Causeway Chamber, we were involved in a conference call with the Economy Minister, Diane Dodds, MLA.

Monitor our social media channels and check your email inbox for regular updates.

You can contact me at:

Stay safe.

Colm Shannon,
Chief Executive Officer
Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade


We stressed to her the urgency of getting these grants out to businesses now and in a very simply straight forward way. She advised that her officials would have a plan finalised by Thursday evening.

So we are expecting to hear more today and will issue an update.

A number of businesses have raised queries with me about eligibility. It is best to wait to see the details of when the scheme is published before we can provide an answer.


The key point we emphasised was the need for employees to be continued to be paid and for government to provide support jobs to avoid people being laid off.

This is something the NI Executive cannot pay as it would cost in excess of £1.5bn and rests firmly with the Westminster Government.  

Economy Minister, Diane Dodds, MLA has spoken to the Business Secretary in Westminster and the Finance Minister, Conor Murphy, MLA has spoken to Treasury.

This support package is vital to keep businesses going and keep staff paid over the next 8 to 12 weeks.
The expectation is the Chancellor will announce a scheme this afternoon.

Once details are clear I will provide an update.


Southern Regional College (SRC), in tandem with the other colleges of Further and Higher Education in Northern Ireland have taken the decision to suspend all face-to-face delivery from 17:00hrs on Friday 20th March 2020.  

The suspension will last until further notice.
The decision, which has been taken in light of the latest UK Government advice, is driven by the overriding need to help protect the safety and wellbeing of our students, our clients and our staff. 

This announcement means that, as of Monday 23rd March 2020:

  • Delivery will continue remotely including the use of digital learning, in so far as this is possible.
  • All scheduled events between now and the summer have been postponed.
  • Colleges will remain open to staff only.

SRC’s Business Support and Innovation team remains fully available to continue delivery of mentoring and R&D services to clients through online/video and other digital channels and they will endeavour to complete training projects through non face-to-face contact where possible, until further notice.
The team will maintain normal customer service levels and are available to address all your enquiries.  

Please contact the SRC Business Support Team on:

T: 028 3025 9664
E: betterbusiness@src.uk


We accept it’s difficult for businesses at the moment and we are working hard as best we can to provide you with information and advice.

We hope to issue a further update this afternoon.

We strongly encourage you as a member, to get in touch with us with any queries that you have via email and we will do our very best to get you the answers you need and relay them back to you.


Stay safe.