SDLP Economy and Jobs Spokesperson Sinéad McLaughlin has backed calls for a dedicated strategy to help the North’s hospitality industry recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
She was speaking after industry leaders called for a plan to get businesses back on their feet, after a similar strategy was published by the UK Government.
Said the Foyle MLA: “Our hospitality businesses have been among those worst affected during the pandemic and it is only right that we produce a strategic plan to help this sector prosper as life returns to normal.
“We have already seen a number of businesses decide to permanently close their doors after suffering financially so urgent action is needed to reverse this trend.
“Many hospitality businesses have spent small fortunes in protection measures to allow them to safely reopen and protect staff and customers.
“Their plight was not helped by inconsistent support and guidance throughout the pandemic.
“Now is the time to show we are firmly behind the sector by protecting businesses and jobs.
“The contribution of the hospitality sector to life in the North cannot be underestimated. We are lucky enough to have some of the best bars, pubs and restaurants of anywhere on these islands.
“While the hospitality sector is key to our economy, it also plays an important role socially in bringing people together, something particularly important after the isolation experienced by many during the pandemic.
“They also contribute hugely to our tourism offering with many visitors taking the opportunity to sample traditional dishes and local produce and experience a night out.
“I’m calling for the Economy Minister to produce a plan, not just to protect the hospitality sector, but all the other interlinked businesses who rely on it to support and encourage trade.”Tags: