Sinn Féin MLA Cathy Mason and Cllr Oonagh Hanlon have said businesses and homeowners affected by flooding must urgently receive further financial support.
The South Down MLA said:
“It is welcome that 106 businesses have had their applications for the initial £7,500 payment approved.
“However, it is simply not enough and businesses are continuing to struggle.
“The £1,000 payment for homeowners affected by flooding was inadequate and has left families in a dire financial crisis with Christmas just around the corner. They urgently need adequate financial help now to help save their family homes and livelihoods.
“We are now one month on from the flooding and businesses have been left with no clarity on the next round of financial support, with some yet to receive any support. This is hugely frustrating and damaging for local traders.
“Sinn Féin will continue to lobby both the local council and government departments involved in the delivery of these payments to ensure businesses urgently receive the financial help they need.”
Cllr Hanlon continued:
“The next round of financial support for businesses affected by flooding should begin immediately and must be substantially more than that the initial £7,500 payment.
“The delivery of any new scheme must be easily accessible and paid directly to affected business owners.
“Independent local traders at the heart of Downpatrick have been here for decades, and some for generations. These shops will not survive unless they urgently receive a significant compensation package and Sinn Féin will continue to make the case for this.”