The President  and Chief Executive of Newry Chamber and the Managing Director of Newry BID, held discussions on Friday with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council on the impact of Covid19 in the area. In an hour long teleconference, they discussed support arrangements for business and local communities, the need for social distancing, as well as getting a briefing on the Council’s Civil Contingencies arrangements.

KPMG have put together a useful online resource documenting what will be available for local businesses. Check it out at ASSETS.KPMG

Speaking after the meeting Chamber President, Emma Marmion Mullen said “It is important that we work in partnership to ensure as a community we get through this Public Health and Financial crisis.  The Chamber has been working on behalf of local businesses to lobby for the business grants announced this week to be paid immediately and that the Chancellors package of measures to subsidise pay are implemented quickly.

Newry City. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

“We can and we will come out of this and in the coming weeks it is important that we secure our businesses, protect jobs and the health and well-being of our communities. In that regard social distancing will be essential.” 

At the meeting the Council’s Chief Executive, Marie Ward , set out the Council’s Civil Contingencies plans. She said “The Council has an important leadership role in the Government’s Civil Contingencies Planning for Northern Ireland and the Council’s Emergency Plan has now been activated. We will work with business, community groups and a range of other statutory services to ensure the delivery of essential services in our area.

“The Council recognises that this is a difficult and worrying time for the business community, both owners and employees. Our Economic Development Team will continue to lobby for appropriate and necessary support to assist businesses through the challenges we are now experiencing as a result of COVID-19.

“We continue to work very closely with Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade, Newry BID, Invest NI and other partners to provide all the support and advice we can to the local business sector and ensure up to date information, advice and support is available to all business. Our team will also look at training support programmes that get businesses back up and running again once this is all over.”

Stressing the need for partnership and support for our  many business and retailers struggling at the moment, Eamonn Connolly Newry BID said: “We welcome the proposed government supports on grants, wages, rates and VAT and need to see them implemented immediately to protect jobs, businesses and our community. It is essential that Stormont suspends the excessive on-street parking enforcement in Newry during these difficult times. Working together we can optimise the measures and  mitigate the hardship local business and employees are suffering”

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