25 February 2021
Lord Karan Bilimoria hosts NI business virtual roundtable
Ahead of his meeting with NI business leaders today (Thursday afternoon), CBI President Lord Karan Bilimoria has responded to the Department for the Economy’s Recovery Action Plan.
Lord Bilimoria will be joined by representatives across a wide range of sectors - from professional services and manufacturing to transport - discussing the key priorities for companies right now: the roadmap to recovery, NI’s long-term economic competitiveness, and the Protocol.
Lord Karan Bilimoria, CBI President, said:
“Northern Irish businesses are full square behind this recovery plan. Investing in skills, creating employment opportunities, as well as stimulating investment and demand are strongly aligned with the CBI’s vision for an inclusive, jobs-rich and green economic recovery.
“Having a plan in place to help companies bounce back from the pandemic is as essential as providing immediate economic support to see businesses through.
“Companies will have their sights firmly fixed on next week’s Executive roadmap and the Chancellor’s UK-wide Budget to provide a pragmatic route out of lockdown, inject momentum back into the economy and support regions to level up.
“As we hear daily good news on the vaccine’s rollout a re-opening of the economy is in sight - the Chancellor can provide vital support to NI business alongside that tailored Executive support that we see in the Department’s Recovery Plan. Extending furlough and further VAT deferrals would provide real relief to those sectors that are really struggling right now.
“I’m also keen to see the NI Executive roll out free workplace testing in the private sector, as seen elsewhere across the UK, and an extension to business rates relief.”
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 to help firms plan and prepare in advance of the easing of restrictions. Full details can be found here.