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“We Must Social Distance.” Joint Statement from Newry Chamber, Newry BID & NMDDC

The President & CEO of Newry Chamber and Managing Director of Newry BID, held discussions on Friday afternoon with NMDDC on the impact of COVID-19 in the area.

In an hour-long teleconference, they discussed support arrangements for businesses and local communities, the need for social distancing, as well as getting a briefing on the Council’s Civil Contingencies arrangements.

Speaking after the hour-long teleconference, President of Newry Chamber, Emma Mullen-Marmion said:

“It is important that we work in partnership to ensure as a community that we get through this Public Health & Financial Crisis. The Chamber has been working on behalf of local businesses to lobby for the business grants announced this week to be paid immediately and that the Chancellor’s package of measures to subsidise pay are implemented quickly.”

“We can and we will come out of this and in the coming weeks, it is important that we secure our businesses, protect jobs and the health and well-being of our communities. In that regard, social distancing will be essential.”

At the meeting, CEO of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Marie Ward, set out the Council’s Civil Contingencies plans. She said:

“Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has an important leadership role in the Government’s Civil Contingencies Planning for Northern Ireland and the Council’s Emergency Plan has now been activated.”

“We will work with business, community groups and a range of other statutory services to ensure the delivery of essential services in our area.”

“Newry, Mourne and Down District Council recognises that this is a difficult and worrying time for the business community, both owners and employees. Our Economic Development Team will continue to lobby for appropriate and necessary support to assist businesses through the challenges we are now facing as a result of COVID-19.”

“We continue to work closely with Newry Chamber, Newry BID, Invest NI and other partners to provide all the support and advise we can to the local business sector and ensure up to date information, advice and support is available to all businesses.”

“Our team will also look at training support programmes that get businesses back up and running again once this is all over.”

Stressing the need for partnership and support for our many businesses and retailers struggling at the moment, MD of Newry BID, Eamonn Connolly said:

“We welcome the proposed government supports on grants, wages, rates and VAT need to see them implemented immediately to protect jobs, businesses and our community.”

“It is essential that Stormont suspends the excessive on-street parking enforcement in Newry during these difficult times. Working together, we can optimise the measures and mitigate the hardship that local businesses and employees are suffering.”