Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Don't let small minority destroy economic dreams

Enough already, as our Stateside cousins might say, ones who have thankfully shown confidence in our economy over the last few days.

Earlier this week a host of well-paid jobs were announced by Ohio company Oxford Consulting and yesterday it was the turn of London law firm Axiom to reaffirm its commitment to Belfast despite the rioting headlines which have made their way around the world.

Not only that but Almac, a company which isn't in Belfast but only a few miles away, has also weighed in with another clutch of posts to add to its already impressive facility in Craigavon.

Such commitment from an indigenous company is no less as important and indeed there are many others, firms which came through the worst years of the Troubles, who are making moves to shrug off current events and reinforce confidence.

But we need the reputation-ruining rioting to stop.

The Northern Ireland brand has managed to become a can-do place to do business over the last few years and you only need to speak to the finest minds in the likes of the hi-tech or IT sectors to realise that we really are regarded as world class.

But as an economy we're still struggling to shake off the last of the recession and really need all the help we can get to recover our business mojo, not a needless impediment to our brand.

Business is tough enough in the current environment without having to explain to every customer that, really, we are somewhere they want to trade with.

And January is tough enough for the hospitality sector without having to be starved of customers who are unable or too scared to travel into the city.

Nobody is trying to stop free speech or free expression but it surely should be carried out in a way which doesn't damage our businesses or the reputation of our economy?

Now, more than ever, our businesses need our support and we all need to join together to show the rest of the world that the actions of a few won't get in the way of our economic dreams.

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