NIABT connect local businesses

THE way businesses in Craigavon work to promote economic development was the focus of a Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (NIABT) lunch.

The event highlighted how the NIABT can work with local business and organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce and Craigavon Borough Council, both of which were instrumental in setting up this lunch.

Local UUP MLA and NIABT Member Jo-Anne Dobson said: “Our local businesses are central to improving the Northern Ireland economy both from an employment perspective and also by helping to rebalance our economy.

“The NIABT plays a vital role in bringing together local business leaders with those in political life who are in a position to bring forward policies that will help improve our economic prospects.

“In this challenging economic climate it is particularly important that MLAs take every opportunity to connect with businesses in their own constituencies and to understand the very particular issues and concerns affecting the local economy.”

James Devlin, Head of Business NI at BT and an NIABT Board Member was also present at the lunch. He said: “As a board member, I am well aware of the important role that the NIABT plays in creating opportunities for mutual understanding and learning between MLAs and local businesses.

“The regular NIABT seminars, educational visits and briefings are instrumental in providing a platform for knowledge sharing and increased awareness.

“It is imperative that our political representatives are in a position to develop sound economic policy and legislation which will serve to help local businesses to thrive. The opportunity to network and to share experiences at an event such as this is an excellent starting point.”

The lunch attracted representatives from a large number of companies based in the local Craigavon area and gave them an opportunity to get to know and forge better working links with their MLAs.