Down District Councillor and the SDLP’s local spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Investment,Dermot Curran, has spoken out in support of local small businesses and companies.
A recent all-island study by InterTradeIreland has found that almost a third of companies were not profitable last year.
“Nine in ten businesses across the island of Ireland have been badly hit by the economic downturn with small leisure, hotel and catering firms being worst hit by a drop in sales along with hikes in energy and transport costs.
Councillor Curran said, “We are now being told that we are no longer in a recession and the economy is showing signs of recovery. However this is certainly not being felt by traders in Downpatrick and across the District.
“These businesses are now facing further inflationary cost pressures teamed with a negative and very difficult attitude from bank officials.”
“These small businesses need help and need it quickly. It is imperative that banks work with these businesses and cease being arbitrary in their approach to lending and it’s the Government that needs to work towards this with the banks.
“ If this recessionary period is to continue, I am fearful that we will see the closure of many businesses, businesses which are the backbone of our rural communities and town centres.”