18 February 2021
Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland Director, said:
“Further continuation of lockdown restrictions will come as little surprise, while there’s still progress to be made on reducing case numbers.
“While the Executive’s moves on click and collect for some retailers are helpful, businesses will require more clarity and transparency on likely sequencing for lifting restrictions so they can prepare for the weeks and months ahead. Decisions should be driven by the data, plans developed in dialogue with business and the Executive should prioritise allocating unspent Covid support to the hardest hit companies urgently.
“Gradually reopening schools from 8 March is a welcome step forward on our journey to a new normal. From discussions with firms across Northern Ireland, we know reopening schools will provide working parents with much needed breathing space. Every effort should now be made to help children catch up on their studies.”
At the start of February, CBI Director-General Tony Danker and NI Director Angela McGowan wrote to the First and Deputy First Minister. They urged the Executive to use the time wisely to get six elements right which will help firms plan and prepare in advance of a lifting of restrictions. Full details can be found here.