Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Boris Johnson helps launch new push to grow economy

(From left): Ann McGregor, chief executive of NI Chamber of Commerce, Mark Nodder, president of NI Chamber of Commerce, London Mayor Boris Johnson, First Minister Peter Robinson and Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.
(From left): Ann McGregor, chief executive of NI Chamber of Commerce, Mark Nodder, president of NI Chamber of Commerce, London Mayor Boris Johnson, First Minister Peter Robinson and Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.

The Chamber of Commerce has issued a rallying call to Northern Ireland's business community in an effort to grow the economy here.

Its Growing Something Brilliant campaign is aimed at helping prompt entrepreneurs to set up new businesses as well as encouraging established firms to grow and export.

The business body said the initiative doesn't take away from the drive for devolving corporation tax-setting powers to Northern Ireland or other initiatives currently in government hands but is an additional measure which can be actioned by companies themselves.

Northern Ireland Chamber president Mark Nodder launched Growing Something Brilliant at an event in Galgorm attended by Mayor of London Boris Johnston.

"For the last few years all of us, almost without exception, have campaigned for the devolution of power to reduce corporation tax," he said. "Indeed we remain absolutely committed to this however political reality has intervened in that campaign and the ultimate decision now waits on the far side of the vote on Scottish independence.

"Whilst we look forward to hearing more of the detail in relation to the Cameron Economic Pact, including the proposed investment conference and enterprise zones proposals, I believe that there is more we can do.

"Today therefore marks the beginning of a project which can define how we ourselves, as a business and a political community, set our own new course for economic growth. Growing Something Brilliant is a journey which will take us through the rest of this year. It is the process by which we ask ourselves and one another a simple question – how can I grow my business?"

Ann McGregor, CEO of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, explained how companies can get involved.

"Tell us via the dedicated website www.growingsomething brilliant.com what is holding your business back and how you can grow," she said.

"Host a visit from your business colleagues, pledge that this year you will hire new recruits, invest in research with the help of Invest NI and talk to your local council about how they invest their economic development budget."

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