Invest NI pay lip service to Social Economy initiatives
Sinn Féin MLA and chair of the Finance and Personnel Committee Jennifer McCann has expressed concern and disappointment that Invest NI have refused to fund a loan financing company which helps Social Economy Enterprises,
Ms McCann who sits on the Enterprise Trade & Investment Committee said,
"The Ulster Community Foundation Trust (UCIT) is an organisation that lends money to Social Economy Enterprises, who themselves generate local employment opportunities and community regeneration particularly in areas of disadvantage and need.
“The Minister for Enterprise Trade & Investment, and other Ministers in the Executive have continually praised the Social Economy Enterprise Sector and recognised the contribution it makes to the economy here.
“It can be extremely difficult for the sector to access and secure loans from ordinary financial institutions like banks so UCIT operate a loan fund which helps the social enterprises develop and grow.
UCIT had made an application to Invest NI earlier this year for additional funding to invest in their successful loan scheme which many had availed of.Invest Ni has turned down the proposal.
“This is a very disappointing decision as it will effect peoples jobs and any future development of certain Social Economy enterprises.
“Once again we hear on the one hand the sector being praised by ministers yet on the other no financial investment from a government body to help this particular sector develop in a competitive market in times of recession."