09/01/2013

Businesses Must Have Finance They Need Made Available - Wilson

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson and Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today concluded a series of meeting with local banks.

Following the meetings Sammy Wilson said that banking and access to finance remain strategically important to the Northern Ireland economy, commenting: "It is imperative that our businesses have the finance they need made available so they can continue to trade and grow. The Enterprise Minister and I have met with all of our local banks and although there are still issues to be faced I believe significant progress has been made.

"All of our banks have indicated they have money to lend to good projects; however they have suggested that a lack of demand is a particular problem. I have no doubt that there is a lack of confidence given the economic climate but our economic recovery depends on businesses taking bold steps to progress investment projects or business opportunities they have. Many are doing this, but we also need those that are potentially holding back to do likewise."

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster added: "For many of our smaller local businesses in particular, the greatest challenge they currently face is access to affordable finance to help them survive and prosper.

"Our meetings with the banks have provided the opportunity to emphasise the importance of supporting business development and growth. During the discussions we were also able to explore what more can be done, by both the banking sector and Government, to assist our local businesses in the current economic climate. This will include the ongoing development of complementary Access to Finance products by Invest Northern Ireland."

(CD/GK)

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