Finance Minister Conor Murphy visited Antrim, Mallusk and Crumlin where he met local businesses to discuss the cost of doing business.
Speaking following the visits, Conor Murphy said: “The message from these businesses is sadly one I am hearing time and time again. Businesses are experiencing extreme financial hardship as the cost crisis continues and the cost of borrowing rises.
“As we approach the winter months, most businesses will have to cope with increased energy bills. Unfortunately, there is still no clarity on how the comparable level of support will be provided through the energy bill relief scheme operating in Britain.
“For months I have been calling on the British Government to provide additional funding to ensure businesses remain sustainable and are able to keep their workers in jobs. More delays will lead to the demise of more businesses.
“There are measures which can be taken immediately. Reducing VAT on fuel and energy bills and reinstating a lower rate of VAT for the hospitality industry would make a real difference.
“I will continue to press the Westminster Government to take action to support small businesses and protect the livelihoods of their workers through this cost crisis.
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