Claire Sugden Said “I welcome the launch of the Lead2Grow programme for micro-businesses.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy; 99.9% of businesses are small and medium enterprises, employing around 347,000 people. There are many in the Causeway area. Their importance is often overlooked by the UK and Northern Ireland governments. I am pleased to see it being highlighted this week.
We have outstanding local businesses right across my constituency and most people have a personal connection. They may own one or work for one, or know somebody who does. Lead2Grow is an opportunity for businesses to learn about leadership and to gain the skills they need to grow. It is a step towards supporting their development and encouraging others to think about starting their own.
Lead2Grow is funded by the UK Government. I hope that the Northern Ireland Executive will provide additional support during and after the programme so that micro-businesses in my constituency can grow and contribute our local economy. This has not always been the case in areas like Coleraine and Limavady which have struggled in recent years.
With micro-businesses springing up across the Causeway area the Government must now put their money where their mouth is and support these enterprises to be ambitious about their future and to flourish.”