Business Community Will Not Survive a Further Lockdown
The business community across Causeway Coast & Glens recognises the incredibly difficult job that the Executive have in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. We know that, likewise, you and your fellow Ministers will understand the significant and rapidly escalating pressures that many businesses are facing as a result of this serious and evolving situation.
Commenting on the possibility of the Northern Ireland Executive introducing another Lockdown, Causeway Chamber President David Boyd said, “The COVID-19 outbreak is already impacting upon many of our members and seems likely to continue for some time. In some sectors, trade has slowed down significantly. There is uncertainty about what impact any measures that may need to be introduced to cope with the spread of the virus will have on trade and for how long, and business owners are expressing very valid worries about cash flow. Businesses are concerned that unless they are told to lockdown, no support will be available therefore the supply chains to these sectors will wither and die.
We all appreciate that public health is an absolute priority at a time like this, but we would impress upon you the importance of ensuring that businesses and employees are supported to enable them to deal with the impact that COVID-19 will have upon them, too. We all hope that the effect on our economy is short-lived but it is essential that actions taken by government to handle the health emergency don’t cause further, avoidable damage to business and, thus, have longer-lasting societal impacts on employment.
We appreciate the multiple pressures upon the resources that are at the Executive’s disposal, but this is no ordinary situation. If we want to be in a position to return to normality as quickly as possible after we have overcome the outbreak of COVID-19, then business requires both leadership and support from our Executive. We simply cannot afford for nothing to be done to help businesses which face a hugely uncertain and problematic period.”