Economy Minister Diane Dodds today held a meeting with the Business Alliance to address supporting businesses through the Covid-19 crisis.
The Business Alliance is a partnership between the Confederation of British Industry Northern Ireland (CBI NI), and the Centre for Competitiveness, the Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI), the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
It has established a COBRA-style committee aimed at supporting businesses whilst acting as liaison with Government.
Following today’s meeting in Belfast, the Minister said: “The impact of Covid-19 on our business is an emerging economic crisis. I am fighting to mitigate against the worst effects on the Northern Ireland economy, on our businesses, SMEs and in particular on our tourism and hospitality sectors.
“I have met key figures from the hospitality and tourism, banking and the wider business community. We are agreed that the impacts of Covid-19 go beyond business interests. They hit right at the heart of our communities and families.
“Therefore, we cannot stand by and let Northern Ireland be left behind. We need to use the funds which flowed from the Chancellor’s budget, and consider additional measures, to put together the fiscal firepower for an enhanced stimulus package to enable us to deliver what is needed to protect jobs and livelihoods.”
She added: “Our business community has a vital role to play. The Business Alliance Cobra Committee is an essential resource at this time and I welcome its establishment.
“It will provide much needed advice on issues on a wide range of matters to businesses which are facing unprecedented difficulties. I strongly encourage businesses from right across Northern Ireland to stay in regular contact with these representative bodies and use this as a channel to make your voice heard.
“If we work together and in each other’s interests, we will get through this.”