Clarke welcomes new Assembly Group on SME’s

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Monday, June 17th, 2013
Alliance South Down representative Councillor Patrick Clarke has welcomed the launch of a new Assembly Group on SMEs at Stormont. Alliance East Belfast MLA Judith Cochrane will chair the group which will act as a useful conduit between politicians and local businesses. It will also explore how the Northern Ireland political environment can assist and encourage all types of SMEs to establish, grow and maximise their potential. Councillor Clarke said, “Here in Northern Ireland I recognise that we have a range of SMEs with boundless potential. However this potential and enthusiasm is not always matched by financial backing, business support, incentives for sustainable growth or the appropriate legislative environment. “Most MLAs and Councillors will have had first-hand experience of businesses in their own constituencies facing financial challenges and developmental hurdles in the current climate. “The new Assembly Group at Stormont is therefore an attempt to bring together key stakeholders to identify the key strategic issues facing SMEs here and to generate practical ideas and proposals which can then be feed in to the work of the Assembly and Executive. “Regardless of our history or our politics, business owners, entrepreneurs, academics, agencies and MLAs must work collectively in building the appropriate legislative environment for small businesses to flourish. Clarke added, “We have a small population but this should not confine our growth or our long term objectives. We boast a colourful, capable and captivating society here in Northern Ireland and we owe it to ourselves to be ambitious.”
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