Finance Minister, Conor Murphy visited Omagh today, meeting hospitality businesses and the local Chamber of Commerce as part of a series of business meetings in the town.
The Minister began his day with a visit to the Mellon Country Inn, one of the hotels in the area, which has benefitted from the two year rates holiday and the Omicron Hospitality Payment. Over £28 million of rates support has been provided to businesses in the Fermanagh and Omagh area during the pandemic.
Minister Murphy welcomed the opportunity to meet the hoteliers and hear their plans for the future, commenting: “It is great to meet with hospitality businesses and to hear directly from them how our range of grant schemes and the rates holiday have provided a financial lifeline. I welcome the chance to hear from the business owners about how they are building their future as they move into a period of economic recovery.”
Minister Murphy took the opportunity to visit one of the new Connect2 Hubs which will offer civil servants living in the Omagh area more flexibility in their working arrangements.
Speaking after his visit, he added: “The Connect2 Hub, one of 11 across the north, builds on the positive work/life balance many civil servants achieved working from home. This town centre hub is currently in construction but once open, it will offer an excellent range of facilities for local staff, when the health guidelines on working from home are relaxed.”
The Finance Minister completed his visit to Omagh by meeting with Chamber of Commerce representatives and taking a walk through the town centre to see how the Department’s new Back in Business scheme could help attract new businesses into empty retail units.
Minister Murphy concluded: “This rate relief scheme will help attract businesses onto the high street and into our town centres by offering a 50% discount on business rates for up to two years. This will be vital in boosting post pandemic footfall for all businesses, new and existing, and will help restore the vibrancy of our local high streets as shoppers, tourists and workers return to the town centres.”