Derry Chamber president Redmond McFadden calls for support for business in response to COVID-19 restrictions

The President of the Chamber of Commerce has called on the NI Executive to urgently clarify what COVID support measures will be available for North West businesses.

The Chamber says that the new restrictions announced by the Executive will mean the serious curtailing of business activity and will badly hit the hospitality and tourism sector in one of its busiest months.

President Redmond McFadden said: “These new restrictions are the last thing we wanted to hear and will have a deep and profound impact on businesses in Derry and the wider North West region.

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“Whilst we understand why they are necessary, it is going to be desperately hard for businesses to make this work and get through this without a serious injection of financial support measures.

“Derry is a global destination at Halloween so to have these restrictions come into force at the same time is a body blow to local hotels, restaurants, cafes, pubs and visitor attractions.

“This in turn will impact on our retail sector with a huge drop in footfall, and the wider supply chain network. It is hard to imagine this coming at a worse time, particularly when consumer confidence was starting to grow again. The Executive must put in place support measures to allow businesses here a fighting chance. Otherwise it will be lights out for many of them and the possibility of thousands of redundancies in a region that has one of the highest unemployment rates in the UK.”