Connecting business and politics in West Tyrone

THE way businesses in Omagh and West Tyrone, can work to promote local economic development was the focus of a Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (NIABT) event on Thursday evening.

The event highlighted how the NIABT  can work with local business and organisations such as the Omagh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who were instrumental in setting up this event.

Speaking after the event, local MLA Barry McElduff said, “Our regional businesses are central to improving the local economy both from an employment perspective and also by helping to rebalance our economy. The NIABT plays a vital role in bringing together local business leaders with those in political life who are in a position to bring forward policies that will help improve our economic prospects.

“In this challenging economic climate it is particularly important that MLAs take every opportunity to connect with businesses in their own constituencies and to understand the very particular issues and concerns affecting the local economy. MLAs are responsible for developing sound economic policy and legislation which will serve to help local businesses grow and thrive. The opportunity to network and to share experiences at an event such as this is an excellent starting point.”

Local MLA Thomas Buchanan was also present at the event and he said, “As a local MLA, I was delighted to be here and to have met with so many local business representatives. It was also heartening to see the resilience of local companies, many of whom are working hard to seek new and innovative ways of making their businesses succeed and prosper in an uncertain financial climate.

“The important role that the NIABT plays in creating opportunities for mutual understanding and learning between MLAs and local businesses cannot be under estimated. The regular NIABT seminars, educational visits and briefings are instrumental in providing a platform for knowledge sharing and increased awareness. With over 60 local businesses represented here tonight, I hope that many will take this opportunity to find out more about how the NIABT works and importantly how it may serve to offer help and support in the future.”

The NIABT Omagh dinner attracted representatives from a large  number of companies based in the local Omagh and wider Tyrone area and gave them an opportunity to get to know and forge better working links with their MLAs.