Welcome to the May 2022 Newsletter from Newry Chamber. I hope you had a lovely Easter and May Bank Holiday.
Following last week’s election and developments this week, we feel it is important that the voice of businesses in this region is heard. So please read the statement from President, Julie Gibbons released this week urging for mature politics, stability and the pressing need to form a functioning government. We stand to lose the most through uncertainty around barriers to trade in this location.
As you would expect, the business community are not standing still, despite the challenges, this region wants to grow and go after local and global opportunities.
The Chamber recently signed off a 2022 and beyond strategy and our work will focus on the main issues raised by our members. These include skills, infrastructure and connectivity and high streets/visitor experience. If we can highlight and improve why this region is a healthy and happy place to live, then investment will flow as people live, work, study, visit and shop here.
The Chamber will continue connect our members with each other and a range of stakeholders through events. We will inspire you by sharing best practice amongst members and through hearing from world-class speakers. The ultimate aim is for individuals, businesses and the entire region to achieve its potential.
We are gearing up for another busy period of events and we wish to update you on what is in-store over the coming months. I would encourage members to register and get involved in our upcoming events which are listed below and on our website.
EVENT: After Hours Business Club (Custom House, Newry)
Thursday 19th May 2022, 7pm – 8:30pm – REGISTER HERE
EVENT: Walk, Talk & Connect (Newry City Centre)
Thursday 2nd June 2022, 7:45am – 9am – REGISTER HERE
EVENT: NI Small Business Conference 2022 (Canal Court Hotel)
Thursday 9th June 2022, 8:30am – 3pm – REGISTER HERE
EVENT: Cross-Border Business Cruise (Carlingford Lough Ferry)
Thursday 16th June 2022, 6:45pm – 9pm – REGISTER HERE
Chief Executive Officer
Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade
CHAMBER CALLS ON POLITICIANS TO RETURN TO STORMONT
Newry Chamber, which represents over 300 businesses in the Greater Newry Area, has called on political parties to return to Stormont to create a functioning government.
Julie Gibbons, President of Newry Chamber said:
“We have been consistent in our message with all NI political parties, GB and EU government officials and a range of stakeholders we have met, that the business community deserve and desperately need stability.”
“We need mature politics where parties work collectively to come up with creative solutions to problems. This is exactly what the business community does on a daily basis. For every challenge, there is an opportunity. The business community simply want more certainty to ensure this region fulfils its undoubted potential.”
“Our members have shown tremendous resilience during the Covid pandemic. Just when we thought that the economy was starting to recover, the war in Ukraine, the cost of living crisis, energy inflation and staff shortages are presenting fresh challenges.”
“Therefore the last thing we need right now is a lack of a functioning Executive with political parties refusing to return to Stormont over the protocol.”
READ FULL STATEMENT HERE
CHAMBER LAUNCHES CORPORATE PATRON SCHEME
We were delighted to launch our Corporate Patron Scheme at our new Gold Patron, Shelbourne Motors in their Newry Showroom on Friday 6th May 2022.
Our Corporate Patron Scheme is an integral part of our strategy to position the Greater Newry Area as a healthy, happy place to work, live, visit, study, shop and invest.
High-level networking and brand awareness will be central to our Corporate Patron Scheme in 2022. We will provide the opportunities for in person engagement with political figures, decision makers and industry leaders.
We now have 32 Corporate Patrons in total and they all receive enhanced benefits for their investment. We look forward to working with all of our Corporate Patrons.
VIEW CORPORATE PATRONS HERE
CHAMBER WELCOMES CONOR BURNS MP
Newry Chamber was delighted to welcome Conor Burns MP, Minister for State NI to Newry City recently.
The Minister was keen to understand the challenges faced by businesses in the Greater Newry Area and other parts of the region so that government legislation can be aligned to the needs of all communities.
The Minister is undergoing a period of listening to understand the issues, discuss potential opportunities and identify where levels of intervention are required.
Julie Gibbons, President of Newry Chamber set out our priorities for Newry City and the Greater Newry Area on the key issues experienced by businesses in the areas of healthcare, housing, infrastructure and skills.
READ MORE HERE
NI SMALL BUSINESS CONFERENCE 2022
DATE: Thursday 9th June 2022
TIME: 8:30am – 4pm
VENUE: Canal Court Hotel & Spa, Newry
COST: FREE FOR CHAMBER MEMBERS
Book your FREE place today for our upcoming annual NI Small Business Conference. The event will take place in person this year and will include breakfast and lunch.
It will include keynote speakers, case studies and a larger exhibition space and a full conference programme will be published early next week. The conference will include expert speakers from specialist organisations and local employers who have continued to grow.
There will be six workshops covering:
- Accessing Finance for Growth
- Sales & Digital Marketing
- Recruiting & Retaining Talent
- Future of the High Streets
- Sustainability & Dealing with Surging Energy Costs
- Focus on Start Ups
BOOK YOUR FREE PLACE HERE
CARLINGFORD LOUGH CROSS-BORDER BUSINESS CRUISE
DATE: Thursday 16th June 2022
TIME: 6:45pm – 9pm
VENUE: Carlingford Lough Ferry
COST: MEMBERS (£12.00 + Booking Fee)
PICK UP TIMES: Greenore 6:45pm, Greencastle 7pm
DROP OFF TIMES: Greencastle 8:45pm, Greenore 9pm
Come along to this unique social event, network with other business representatives from the area and enjoy the stunning views of Carlingford Lough. Refreshments will be provided by local food and drink providers.
Member rate applies to members of:
- Newry Chamber
- Dundalk Chamber
- WBR Chamber
- Kilkeel Chamber
- Drogheda & District Chamber
- South Armagh Business Improvement Group
BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE
FE COLLEGES’ CALL FOR EDUCATION REFORM
The 10X Skills Strategy for Northern Ireland sets out a number of challenging recommendations that could help address skills deficits and ensure that the right people are qualified for the right jobs. However, the new Executive must guarantee the strategy is fully funded and resources available so this can be implemented.
The FE sector are urging a new NI Executive to prioritise greater collaborative working between Departments to bring forward solutions that will close the skills deficit, reduce the current level of duplication within the education system and deliver on the ambitions of the Skills Strategy and create a better, more balanced economy for Northern Ireland.
The Principles of the six FE Colleges in Northern Ireland are sending a letter to the Ministers urging them to take notice of the skills shortages and highlighting where FE can work with businesses across Northern Ireland to ensure the challenges they are facing are addressed.
READ MORE HERE
BACK IN BUSINESS SCHEME OPENS FOR APPLICATIONS
We were pleased to help launch the ‘Back In Business’ Scheme back in March 2022 which offers businesses a 50% rates discount for up to two years if they occupy a vacant unit and the scheme is now open for applications.
Finance Minister, Conor Murphy MLA launched the revamped, more generous scheme in Newry City which he hopes will give business owners who set up in empty premises help to get established in the first two years.
The scheme offers 50% rate relief for up to two years when empty premises become occupied. There are over 12,500 vacant business premises across NI.
The scheme is now open for applications.
READ MORE HERE