Open for business
Northern Ireland has been a hive of activity throughout the last quarter. The G8 summit that took place in June saw leaders from across the globe gather in County Fermanagh.
Whilst hospitality and tourism are the main sectors to benefit it is also believed that the summit will have created the equivalent of £70m of advertising space in the immediate term and more than £500 in the longer term.
Hosting the summit was a vote of confidence, that gave Northern Ireland an opportunity to showcase itself to a global audience and show the rest of the world that it’s open for business and importantly, open for investment.
A shared future
The last quarter saw an economic pact unveiled at Downing Street that is set to be crucial for the Northern Ireland economy.
The stimulus package, which is worth an estimated £50m over two years, will include initiatives to attract private sector investment and job creation, boost lending to businesses and deliver capital funding for frontline projects such as hospitals, schools and roads.
The pact also guarantees that Northern Ireland will retain its multi-million pound European Union Assisted area status, funding that is crucial to ensuring continued growth and development in the region.
The Close Brothers Business Barometer* showed that businesses in the province are continuing to find trading conditions tough, with 58% of SME owner managers surveyed admitting that business hasn’t improved in the last year.
Furthermore, a fifth claim trading has become more difficult over the last 12 months.
On a more positive note, the manufacturing industry continues to offer hope for the Northern Ireland economy with nearly a quarter of those surveyed viewing it as the sector most likely to lead the UK to a better economic future.
*The Close Brothers Business Barometer is conducted on a quarterly basis. It canvasses the opinion of SME owner managers on a range of issues affecting their business.