06 October 2020


‘You Are Not Alone’ is the message of support from the hospitality industry as it calls for an urgent survival package for Derry City and Strabane hospitality businesses as they enter a virtual lockdown, says Hospitality Ulster

In an urgent plea, Hospitality Ulster has called on the NI Executive to immediately provide a financial survival package to save jobs and businesses across the North West.


Hospitality Ulster has stated that the entire hospitality industry stands with their colleagues in Derry and Strabane sending out the message ‘You Are Not Alone’ and calls on the NI Executive to immediately provide a financial survival package to save hospitality jobs and businesses in the North West.


Like everyone else, we are concerned about the continuing rise in infection levels across the North West, but we are also very concerned about the people that depend on our industry to put bread on their tables.


Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Hospitality Ulster said:


“Our industry faces many challenges across the province - sustainability being one of them. The hospitality industry in Derry and Strabane is fighting for its survival today as restrictions are now in place that effectively amount to a lockdown of the sector.”


“Hospitality employees and businesses in the North West are effectively back to the same place they were at start of this crisis in March - when they were only saved by financial interventions from Westminster and the NI Executive.”


“Government must immediately put in place a financial survival package for those impacted today. This package needs to be substantial and represent the significant amount of money that will be lost in the next two weeks in the North West.”


“The hospitality sector in the Derry and Strabane council area was already under extreme pressure with many only really given the opportunity to open last week. They haven’t even had a chance. Allowing only 15 people max outdoors gives the illusion that the sector is open, but the stark reality is that it cannot and has effectively been given no option but to be better off shut.”


“We need to ensure that support is delivered straight away as many of the hospitality businesses owners have seen no personal financial support throughout this crisis, with previous grants going towards fixed overhead costs related to the premises. They simply do not have the money to contribute to the furlough scheme for their staff never mind putting bread on their own table.”


“The North West has an economic disaster on its hands and it is imperative for those in the sector to get immediate aid and support. This is not a time for procrastination. We need money and support directed to those in the industry who are rapidly losing hope for their businesses and their employees at the front end of the newly imposed restrictions across the council area.”