Since the last election, I have had the opportunity to take a deeper interest in the full range of Enterprise and Trade issues.
I have written to the Finance Minister concerning rates paid by retailers in Lisburn City Centre, which I still regard as punitive in hard times such as these.
I have also tabled numerous questions on how we may generate our own business more effectively. In particular, I have advocated more and better support for those starting up in business, new services for those wishing to export and bring more money into the local economy, and targeting a wider range of people to get involved in business in the first place.
As a former businessman myself, I appreciate the range of issues facing people trying to make a living in retail, in manufacturing and in their own start-ups. I want greater priority placed on support for these people, and in this support being much wider than just the occasional grant.