Belfast Telegraph

The disruption following Belfast car bomb must not put off outsiders from investing

By David Elliott

It's sad that the first reaction to the recent bomb and planned protests in Belfast is one of resignation.

We've come to expect such activity at this time year, when it's most damaging for retailers in the city centre who rely on a prosperous Christmas period to make up the bulk of their profit for the year.

And of course, it does nothing for Northern Ireland's reputation elsewhere in the world.

That's normally difficult to illustrate, but you don't have to go far for an example.

One serial entrepreneur with roots firmly on these shores noted only yesterday that headlines of unrest make his job much harder.

That's because he's trying to persuade a London start-up company to establish its business here, on the basis that we have one of the best cultures for nurturing entrepreneurship in the world.

But there are plenty of other places which would welcome a company which has the potential to generate millions for the local economy with open arms and, faced with such choice, images of bombs or indeed protests do little to help our case.

The events of this week show it has minimal impact to how we do business here, but the risk to our hard-earned reputation as a can-do economy grows with each headline.

Hopefully it will all blow over but once again the hard working people of the economy here have to work harder for recognition because of the actions of a few.

We shouldn't have to resign ourselves to an annual period of unrest, but until those few see sense, we'll just have to carry on showing we, as an economy, are exactly where a high-growth start-up needs to be.

As long as we know it and can communicate it to the rest of the world over the hubbub that's trying to do otherwise, then we'll be fine.

In the meantime, here's a peaceful festive season, one which will lead to prosperity for everyone.

Belfast Telegraph

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