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Maskey expresses concern on Whitefort Inns receivership development

14 October, 2009

West Belfast MLA Paul Maskey has expressed concern at reports that a Belfast business which owns licensed premises in west and north Belfast has gone into receivership and says that everything possible must be done to retain the jobs affected by this development:

"Sinn Féin's primary concern is for all of those whose livelihood depends on this local employer. We need to retain employment in all spheres at this time. As far as I am aware at present, those employed will retain their jobs whilst the viability or future ownership of the premises affected is being explored."

"The fact that local business-people in west and north Belfast are affected by the present economic difficulties is no surprise. We have been raising concerns for some time about the responsiveness of banks to the needs of small to medium size enterprises. Small businesses do not have the same financial cushion as larger firms. It would certainly appear that some banks, which have enjoyed financial stimulus packages, are still not sharing that financial support with local businesses."

"In this case, I think the surprise has come by the haste with which the bank involved with this local business has moved to put it into receivership. Sinn Féin has been in contact with the receiver who has been appointed to oversee the running of the premises affected and I expect to meet with him later this week to discuss the situation."

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