LOCAL BUSINESSES CONTINUE TO THRIVE & GROW DURING PANDEMIC
A host of businesses in Newry, Mourne and Down have weathered the storm and experienced continued growth throughout the challenging pandemic period, thanks to the support of Council business programmes.
The NMD Business Growth and Tender for Growth programmes involve tailored one-to-one mentoring, networking and targeted workshops, as well as access to ‘meet the buyer’ events. They are part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014 -2020) programme.
Green Ladies NI, an eco-friendly cosmetics business based in Downpatrick, recently completed the NMD Business Growth Programme and is now preparing to expand its team and launch a new product. Company Director, Tracy Megoran, outlined the benefits of taking part, “Working closely with my designated mentor, we carried out a full review of every element of my business - everything from cash flow, sales, marketing, production and distribution. I was then able to shift our sales strategy and follow a carefully designed business plan which kept us on track.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time. Despite the downturn due to the pandemic, we are now recruiting a new member of staff and launching a new product through our enhanced web channels. I couldn’t have done it without the support of the NMD Business Growth programme.”
Hugh McCulloch, Managing Director at Condensation Solutions, also took part in the NMD Business Growth programme to develop his skills during lockdown. He said, “I wanted to utilise the downtime effectively to grow the business, become a better mentor to my staff and to establish the best strategy to keep the business moving forward.
“Thanks to the programme, we have developed a sustainable strategic plan and new operating systems to cope with demand, as well as methods to manage pressures and encourage self-care at work. I now feel better equipped as a leader and can communicate more effectively with my team.”
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin congratulated businesses on completion of the programmes and a successful period, which saw them overcome the challenges brought about by the pandemic. She said, “It’s great to hear so many local success stories during what has been an incredibly difficult time for a lot of businesses. Participants in these programmes have shown determination and resilience in continuing to grow their businesses and ultimately provide more jobs for people in this area. This will have a positive impact on economic growth here.
“As a Council, we have worked to develop relevant and responsive programmes to support our local businesses. The Council is committed to supporting our local economy and these programmes are proving to be invaluable. If you haven’t signed up already, you should.”
Support is open to any small business located in the Newry, Down and Down District Council area and it is free to register and take part.
Businesses can register for business support via the relevant programme by the website http://nmdbusiness.org/growing-your-business/