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

President Deborah Loughran’s August Column

The summer months are traditionally a bit quieter with people taking holidays and children off school but for Newry Chamber this has not been the case. We are busy preparing for the Greater Newry Area Business Awards deadline for entries on 7th August. Our team have been out and about meeting businesses, discussing categories and signing up sponsors. There is lots of interest and I know it will be a fantastic gala awards night on 24th September. There is still time to enter so if you are thinking about it, give it a go and help us to make it the biggest and best awards yet. Check out www.newrybusinessawards.com

We were obviously very disappointed with the outcome of the Judicial Review into the planning application for retail and industrial development at Carnbane. We still absolutely believe that this is a bad planning decision for the area and one which opens the floodgates to allow for retail development in other pockets of industrial land on the outskirts of the city.

 I hope people understand that as an organisation we are pro-development but development which is in keeping with good planning procedures and planning which is not to the detriment of what already exists in the area. I, and so many others are immensely proud of the business achievements of the people of this area. I believe that we need to support these people in keeping jobs in the city and ensuring the competition, which is very healthy, is on a level playing field.

We are delighted to also announce that we are reinvigorating the Great Newry Vision Partnership and the new body has already met. This group will take representatives from key groups and organisations across the area together to plan, discuss and implement significant local development projects.

Newryhour on Twitter is gathering momentum and we are finding more and more businesses getting involved every week. In the last couple of weeks we have had more than 200 new followers on the Chamber account with people making connections and doing business through the medium of Twitter. If you want to get involved all you have to do is search for #newryhour between 9-10pm on Tuesdays and keep refreshing your page to see the conversation or tweet using the hashtag newryhour to make or reply to a comment.

Finally I am delighted that there has been lots of news and announcements over that past couple of weeks which shows the spirit of Newry business is well and truly alive. The site for the new Community Health hub has been announced; Newry Junior Chamber has released details of the fantastic ‘Firing your Success’ event in September; Newry Chamber is hosting a golf classic on 21st August; Iur Cinn Fleadh has been launched; Newry’s Best Burger competition is taking place and the opening of a new city coffee shop Finegan & Son is imminent to name but a few things happening in our great city.

For further information check out www.newrychamber.com