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Small Businesses Need Urgent Support to Survive, says Dickson

Small and micro businesses in Northern Ireland are at breaking point and need urgent support to survive, Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has said.

The East Antrim MLA was speaking after the annual Enterprise NI survey indicated that almost half of small and micro businesses in Northern Ireland, will face closure in the next 12 months, if support is not made available.

Over 600 businesses responded to the Enterprise NI Barometer, the largest annual survey of micro and small businesses. The barometer captures data, opinions, needs and proposed solutions of small, micro and self-employed businesses.

Mr Dickson said: "The results from the survey paint a bleak picture of our local economy. Many businesses are operating on a knife edge. They are calling out for financial support, but they are also calling for political stability.

“Thanks to the DUP’s reckless grandstanding, businesses are rapidly approaching a cliff edge. They really need all the help they can get as we move into the Christmas period.

"It’s the continued uncertainty that will be detrimental to businesses. Over the last few years, survival for businesses has been about coping with uncertainty, but now many are suggesting they are worse off than they were during the pandemic. Without sustained growth and financial assistance, the cost of doing business simply isn't sustainable."

Mr Dickson continued: "People need real leadership at a time when they are facing inconceivable hardship, businesses are on the brink, and our public services are on their knees. So, instead of political posturing, the DUP need to come back into government and work to safeguard these businesses, jobs and industry as a whole.

"The DUP should not have the opportunity to cause further suffering and hold the government to ransom. The people of Northern Ireland want solutions and progress, not scaremongering and grandstanding. So, for the good of everyone, let's get on with it."

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