Foyle MLA Gary Middleton today hosted Economy Minister Diane Dodds for an online discussion with local business representatives on the impact of recent restrictions imposed within the Derry City & Strabane District Council area.
Taking part were representatives from the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and key stakeholders in the city.
Speaking afterwards Gary Middleton said, “The latest figures today show a further alarming rise in Covid cases, with over 200 new cases in the Council area. Everyone supports the Executive’s twin aims of protecting lives and livelihoods. The challenge however is ensuring both of these are achieved simultaneously.
Whilst there are daily figures published in relation to positive Covid cases, there are no equivalent figures for the impact upon local businesses. As a result, it can be much more difficult for an understanding of the challenges facing business to be seen by the wider public. The decision to impose localised restrictions here was one taken collectively by the Executive and there is a need for collective support for businesses impacted by them.
I am grateful to the Economy Minister for taking time to speak to businesses in Londonderry and I know she is acutely aware of the challenges they face. The impact will not just be felt by those businesses which fall under the direct remit of the regulations. The knock-on effects will be felt right across our local economy.
Economy Minister Diane Dodds added “I know the effect that any restrictions have upon businesses. I do not underestimate how this will affect those businesses Londonderry and Strabane, both those businesses which are directly impacted and those within the supply chain and others who are indirectly affected.
It was very important to hear from all those stakeholders today. I will ensure that their message is heard by colleagues right across the Executive and I will continue to seek their support for assistance to our local economy. However, as the local businesses today said, the best way to support them is to allow them to trade.”