Businesses excluded from hardship fund need support -Mullan

Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan  has expressed the desperation felt by many small businesses excluded once again from departmental support in response to COVID-19.

Speaking after details were published of the Economy Minister’s Hardship Fund, she said:

“The existing business grant schemes have provided support to many businesses. However, many others such as sole traders and some social enterprises have not been eligible to avail of them.

“For these businesses the Hardship Fund was their only lifeline.

“The criteria set by the Economy Minister means once again these businesses have been left behind.

“These businesses have been under significant pressure to meet financial commitments to keep their businesses open but effectively they have been abandoned yet again.

“The minister needs to listen and recognise the plight of these small businesses.

“Their survival depends on support from the Hardship Fund.”