Belfast Telegraph

Bank's role praised by new retail store boss

By Heather McGarrigle

Following a substantial investment in a new retail outlet, 10 jobs have been created in Belfast.

The new Spar store, occupying a formerly vacant property on Royal Avenue, has opened following a substantial refurbishment.

Owner and manager Declan McGonagle said he picked the location for its good level of passing trade and he is "delighted with the customer numbers to date".

He said: "As this is my first venture I thought it would be difficult to find support, but Ulster Bank saw the potential and has offered a range of financial and non-financial support, which when starting out for the first time has proven to be invaluable."

Ulster Bank provided the undisclosed investment sum through the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme, a scheme designed to help businesses with insufficient security to obtain bank finance.

The bank says it has provided over 80% of all funds drawn under the scheme in Northern Ireland since its inception.

Other support is available, including access to Small Business Can, an online business support and networking forum.

Martin Convery, business manager at Ulster Bank said Mr McGonagle had "researched the local market well".

"The new business is one of over 5,000 new and emerging companies across the island of Ireland who have signed up to Ulster Bank's start up and early stage business package, which was launched last year."