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Enterprise Minister addresses Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster encouraged the business community in Newry to take full advantage of the advice and support on offer from Invest Northern Ireland. Addressing members of  Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade at their Business Lunch last week the Minister outlined a number of initiatives that have been put in place to help support local business and encourage job creation. The Boosting Business campaign launched at the end of last year provides a range of practical measures including the Jobs Fund which is already delivering for the Newry and Mourne area. Arlene Foster said: “The jobs fund which is a key part of the Boosting Business Campaign was developed too help businesses create new and sustainable jobs that will tackle our current levels of unemployment. Within the Newry and Mourne area there a number of different projects at various stages of development. The Jobs Fund has also supported seven young people aged 16-24to set up their own business through the NEET Business Start grant and six individuals resident in Neighbourhood Renewal Areas (NRA) to set up their own business through the NRA Business Start Grant.” As part of the Business Boosting Campaign a ‘Focus on Finance’ workshop was held earlier this year. “The Minister added: “The feed back from this and other initiatives has been very positive and Invest Northern Ireland will continue to develop further practical business solutions to address specific needs. I would encourage businesses and individuals in the Newry and Mourne area that have a business enquiry or a potential job creation project to contact the Boosting Business help line or to log an enquiry on the boostingbusiness.com website. Referring to the Executive’s Economic Strategy that was launched earlier this week she concluded: “The Economic Strategy sets our the steps that we need to take in order to grow the private sector in Northern Ireland and improve our economic competitiveness. We are investing significantly in our economy to support business growth. As many firms are struggling to sustain and expand their businesses the Strategy includes initiatives to improve access to finance and safeguard jobs including the £50m Growth Loan Fund. Going forward it is essential that businesses exploit all opportunities both internally and externally in developing traditional markets or exploring niche opportunities. Although the Strategy contains ambitious targets as an Executive we will work together to achieve them and I believe that despite the current difficult economic situation we can look forward with optimism.”


The Examiner

20th March 2012