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Coronavirus: Industry expert hopeful of a fast economic bounce back for Northern Ireland

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An empty Royal Avenue in Belfast city centre

An empty Royal Avenue in Belfast city centre

An empty Royal Avenue in Belfast city centre

The head of a leading business body in Northern Ireland has said she is hopeful that economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will be much quicker than the last recession.

CBI NI director Angela McGowan, who was formerly an economist for Danske Bank, will turn 50 and toast her 25th wedding anniversary this summer.

But instead of celebrating, she will be fighting on behalf of businesses here as they struggle to survive the economic crisis.

She said: "This is a huge economic shock with a health shock piled on top of it and that creates so much more anxiety.

"I would be hopeful of a bounce back. It will be deep, yes, but I am hoping that the bounce back will be fast. That said, there will be scars. There will be some companies that will be impacted and then we don't know how consumers are going to react."

She said firms were in the final stage of preparing for recovery by working out new ways to get back to business and implementing workplace changes.

"This has been a three-phase event. Phase one was getting government support in place, phase two was ensuring that support was allocated, and three is how we look at returning to work," she said.

"There are big conversations to be had but we do have to accept that this is an unprecedented situation and we will have to take risks but then we have a huge obligation to make sure that we build a sustainable economy."

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