Finance Minister Conor Murphy visited a number of businesses in Lisburn this week to see first-hand how they have benefitted from the financial support provided by the Department during the pandemic.
Businesses in the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council received more than £47m of financial support through various grant schemes and rates holidays. Minister Murphy was keen to meet businesses to find out more about how the financial support helped them and to discuss their plans for the future.
Speaking after the visits to social enterprise business, Stepping Stones and local coffee shop, Wallace and Donut, Minister Murphy said, “During the pandemic my Department worked extremely hard to deliver financial support to businesses. It is so encouraging to get the opportunity to visit some of the businesses that benefitted from that support, which was a lifeline for many.
“As the Executive prepares to set a three-year budget it was also good to discuss businesses’ future plans. Smaller hospitality businesses have been particularly hard hit during the pandemic and the importance of regeneration in our town and city centres, as well as the upcoming rates revaluation, are key issues for these small business owners.
“I am a keen supporter of social enterprise and meeting the trainees and staff at Stepping Stones has been a highlight. The charity provides a range of training initiatives, enhancing the skills and confidence of people with learning difficulties and offering real opportunities for employment through business partnerships and at its own enterprises here in Lisburn.
“Stepping Stones is a great example of how a social enterprise can be an invaluable part of the local community and I’m glad we were able to support them during a difficult time.”
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