Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Deputy First Minister addresses Chamber business event

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, was the keynote guest speaker at a business lunch hosted by Newry Chamber of Commerce in the Canal Court Hotel on Wednesday last.

Addressing the 180 delegates at the event, Mr McGuinness said relevant agencies must continue to work together to rebuild the economy: “Events like this hosted by the Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade are important as they provide a forum for an exchange of views on how we can collectively grow our economy. Newry has a vibrant business community with an abundance of entrepreneurial spirit and a thirst for success. This energy and enthusiasm has kept the wheels of the economy turning during what has been very challenging economic period,” he said.

“At a time of elections, north and south and a referendum on Europe it’s vitally important the Executive, Invest NI, Councils and local stakeholders continue to work together to rebuild and rebalance our economy. We must support businesses and we have done that during this Programme for Government by almost £30million of support offered by Invest NI to locally-owned businesses in the Newry, Mourne and Down Council area.”

Mr McGuinness also spoke of the global economy, the priority the Executive places on growing the economy and the valuable contribution of local businesses.

Chamber President Michael McKeown, said the organisation was delighted to host the important business lunch “at a hugely important time in the history of this cross border community and indeed the island of Ireland”.

“The outcome of the UK’s Referendum on EU membership and imminent Government elections on both sides of the border may impact our everyday lives and shape the way we do business in the future.  It was important to hear from the deputy First Minister his comments on the matter and for him to hear the views from the Newry Business Community,” he said.

The event sponsor, Steven McDonnell, Recruitment Manager at Servisource, added: “We were delighted to support Newry Chamber in hosting this business lunch event.  As an organisation operating in this cross border region we recognise the importance of events like this in promoting this region as a key place to work and do business,” he said.