​Business Community drives NI economy forward in spite of political stagnation

29 January 2019


Economic uncertainty would certainly appear to neatly summarise today’s news as we approach the end of the first month of 2019, with Brexit now not only looming on the horizon but rather towering over us.

A quick scan through the lead local headlines today and it is apparent that there can hardly be a more mixed bag of news, ranging from promising to downright gloomy.

In terms of purely business news, the Belfast Telegraph notes plans for an £84 Million redevelopment of college campuses in Northern Ireland. The positive note is echoed in the smaller business sector with branding agency Kaizen finishing a quarter of a million expansion at their Belfast HQ. All of this is however set against the bad news story of the day, in that fears grow for hundreds of jobs linked to the NI Housing Executive and £1Bn of contracts outsourced.

The Irish News reports on positivity surrounding a possible resurrection of a planned new railway stop in Lisburn, close to a proposed 1,300 home development. Again positivity on a smaller scale with opening of another branch of a new local coffee chain is reported. The positivity is closely tempered with the national story with warnings from local business leaders over fears of a no deal Brexit. A dozen business leaders have spent considerable time in London attempting to make progress where the politicians have to date failed.

Economic uncertainty is all over the news and it is certainly reflected in the advice our clients are seeking. Whether it’s a group of landlords concerned that a UK wide cake and coffee chain will close leaving them without tenants, a customer concerned that a major manufacturer is about to hit the wall leaving them in a supply chain mess or investors glimpsing opportunity of a bargain in difficult times, businesses need to find the answer quickly and not over a protracted two or three year period.

What appears clear in this turmoil, is that where political progress seems “stuck in the mud”, businesses and the business community are constantly evolving, developing, progressing, seeking to grow, changing (for the better and worse) and that the need for assistance and guidance from legal advisers is as great as ever. In business, the phrase “needs must” is often never truer. Will the urgency of the message delivered by our business leaders be reflected in political developments in the coming weeks? Can politicians deliver to our businesses, the service that their lawyers provide daily?

If the current political and economic uncertainty is having a negative impact on your business, or a business on which your trading depends, speak to Darren Toombs in our Insolvency Department.