Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

‘We applaud the Belfast Telegraph for its support in incredibly difficult times’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “I'm delighted to support this Belfast Telegraph initiative. Belfast has rightly become known as a vibrant and welcoming place to visit, to do business and to enjoy the hospitality of its people. This is a time to look forward, to build on the great work that has been done in Northern Ireland and to celebrate Belfast's capacity to thrive and provide a prosperous and peaceful environment for its citizens and visitors.”

Baroness May Blood MBE: “If we give in to these threats then Belfast will go back to a bad time. People have to carry on as normal and come out and spend money and that’s why I completely support the Belfast Telegraph’s campaign.”

NIIRTA boss Glyn Roberts: “We applaud the Belfast Telegraph for getting behind local traders in these incredibly difficult times. We would urge the local community to make every effort to support local traders throughout Northern Ireland and in particular Belfast city centre. If they don't then we will see more jobs lost and businesses closing. Our retail and hospitality sectors in Belfast are suffering greatly as a result of these protests and riots.”

NI Amnesty International director Patrick Corrigan: “The right to food and drink are two of my favourite human rights! There's no better place than Belfast to exercise those rights, so I'll be taking the family to the city centre to show support for workers in the hospitality sector whose livelihoods are at risk. Well done to the Belfast Telegraph.”

Author Glenn Patterson: “Two local economies are affected; the micro-economy in east Belfast and the city centre itself. One of the good things was Operationsitin, which encouraged people to support local bars and restaurants. The immediate days ahead are my concern and I support what the Belfast Telegraph is doing.”

Siren boutique owner Claire McConnell: “We're totally backing this. We really miss our regular customers and appreciate things have indeed been difficult. But people are missing a really good sale and we now have 70% off our autumn/winter stock for the weekend, so it's not to be missed.”

PR consultant Cathy Martin: “It’s not just retailers, restaurants and the hospitality industry that are suffering; there is a knock-on effect. Also, staff in restaurants aren’t getting the shifts they need, so they, too, are earning less. Events companies like mine find it hard to plan because we don’t know how many will attend. It’s tragic after Northern Ireland worked so hard to create a positive image.”

Co-director, AB2 boutique, Julie Gome: “The campaign is great. I know Bloomfield Avenue is quite near where the trouble has been but you can easily avoid those roads and get here. Customers that have been in have had no problems.”

Mourne Seafood Bar owner Bob McCoubrey: “I support the campaign, it's very important. The protests have been a minor inconvenience and if we don't come out a lot of retailers and restaurants won't be open in six months and we'll be wondering where to go for our social lives.”

Pure Running, sales assistant Brian Hamilton: “We support the campaign 100%. People need to get back into Belfast, retailers need the business, a lot of shops will face closure if they don't get more customers soon.”

Co Couture boutique Deidre McCanny: “I support anything that welcomes people to Belfast city centre and shows support for traders. I know access has been an issue but we're open for business and ready to welcome customers with open arms.”

Spires Restaurant owner David Weiniger: “This campaign is a great idea to get people back into the city. We have lots to offer and we're certainly open for business with great value, home-cooked food for our customers to enjoy.”

Ferguson Flowers owner David Ferguson: “I support the campaign and people coming back into town. I urge the public to get back to normality, but it's time the council and the MLAs got everything resolved as soon as possible so the public feel safe in our city again.”

Fullerton Pharmacy owner Adam Fullerton-Healey: “I absolutely support initiatives like this — they are what’s needed to encourage people back to Belfast and get some common sense back on the streets. Local traders are crying out for support.”

Bellaire hairdresser manager Carly Bell: “We need to start getting Belfast back to its best. I urge people to get out and support the city and all the wonderful things it has to offer. We should all pull together to turn things around.”

North Gentlemen’s Outfitters owner Michael Donnelly: “I urge people to come into town and think about where they spend their money.”

Oscar's Champagne Cafe owner Tommy Morris: “I am very much in support. At this stage of the game, people need to know we are still trading and we are doing our best in a tricky situation. Then, hopefully, people will come out and support us.”

Lou Lou Blu owner Denise Holmes: “Anything that is going to get people feeling positive about Belfast is going to be a big help. The situation has started to feel completely out of our hands, but people coming into Belfast this weekend to shop will be a step in the right direction.”

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

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