Alliance MLA Eóin Tennyson has said a restored and reformed Executive is urgently needed to provide political certainty and tackle the cost of doing business crisis.
The Upper Bann MLA was speaking after hosting a roundtable with Banbridge Chamber of Commerce, local business leaders, and Alliance Party leader Naomi Long MLA.
Mr Tennyson said, “Local small and medium-sized enterprises are facing a myriad of challenges – from rising energy bills to labour shortages and challenges with the rates system.
“It is unconscionable that while firms are facing a cost of doing business crisis, and their staff are facing the biggest squeeze on living standards in a generation, we do not have a functioning Executive to provide leadership and support.
“The ongoing cycle of ransom politics is only exacerbating the crisis, creating further uncertainty and delaying key decisions which we know are critical to enhancing the Northern Ireland economy and protecting our high streets and town centres. While an Executive cannot solve all of the problems, it would at least allow us to do some work to better target support, build confidence, protect jobs and help to attract investment.
“I welcome the opportunity to engage with Banbridge Chamber of Commerce and many local traders alongside party leader Naomi Long MLA. We will continue to press for the return of not just a restored Executive at the earliest opportunity, but a reformed Executive so businesses are not placed in this situation ever again. In the meantime, we will continue to do all we can to ensure our local businesses are supported throughout this crisis.”