Brown Attends All Party Meeting At Down Business Centre

Alliance MLA welcomes All Party Group to Down Business Centre

Alliance MLA welcomes All Party Group to Down Business Centre

Alliance MLA Patrick Brown have attended a visit to the Down Business Centre outside Downpatrick as part of the All-Party Group (APG) for Small and Micro Businesses.

The aim of the visit was to discuss support needed for businesses hit by the recent flooding in the area.

The meeting was set up by the APG which consists of MLAs from across each of the political parties alongside groups and stakeholders in the small and micro business industries.

In the absence of a sitting Assembly and, consequently, the lack of committees to scrutinise and recommend legislation, APGs have played a crucial role in advocating to the British government and Stormont departments.

During their visit to Down Business Centre, APG members gained insights into the impact of flooding on businesses in Downpatrick and discussed the essential support required from councils, the Secretary of State, and a potential re-established Stormont Assembly.

Patrick Brown said: “It was fantastic to welcome the All-Party Group on Micro and Small Business to the Down Business Centre last Wednesday.

At the All-Party Group meeting were South Down MLA Patrick Brown, centre, with Maurice Massey, Down Business Centre board member and Jonathan Walsh of Fortior Insight Ltd, a business strategic management consultant based at Down Business Centre.

“I would like to thank Enterprise NI, who provide secretariat duties for the group, and the APG Chair John Stewart MLA for their commitment to taking these meetings outside of Stormont and into the heart of the business community across NI.

“This meeting was particularly important as it allowed the All-Party Group to discuss the impact of recent flooding and the need for adequate and urgent financial support to help local small businesses bounce back.”

Enterprise NI provides secretariat support to the APG, and when discussing the recent visit, CEO Michael McQuillan said: ‘“Enterprise NI is delighted to provide secretariat support to the All-Party Group on Micro and Small Business. 

“During discussions, it was important we took the opportunity to discuss the impact of the recent flooding in the area.  It is vitally important that financial support is provided directly to those affected businesses, now. 

“We must be as agile in delivery of this, similar in nature, to the way COVID-19 support schemes were delivered. 

“Also, it is crucially important the agencies responsible for infrastructure must fix the problems that caused this flooding.  These include flood protection systems and road drainage.’