Sinn Féin MLA and Minister in the Executive Office, Declan Kearney has visited Crumlin’s Main Street to discuss the current COVID-19 restrictions with local traders in the village.
The South Antrim MLA said:
“Following the renewed COVID-19 restrictions introduced to parts of my South Antrim constituency, and since then extended across the north, I wanted to hear first-hand how traders in Crumlin are managing the mitigation measures designed to protect their staff and customers.
“Mark Lauro, Chairperson of the Crumlin Traders’ Town Team, and I visited the Main Street and spoke with a number of business people. We discussed how they have coped during the pandemic and listened to their views about general community compliance with the renewed public health measures.
“The ongoing health emergency has been an extremely challenging time for business, especially our local retail and hospitality sectors. Some continue to barely survive, despite the financial assistance and furlough schemes provided through our power sharing Executive. One business owner described that by close of business an income of only £11.00 would be generated – having already rebated £300k in deposits to customers in recent months. Other local businesses have innovated and diversified to stay solvent.
“I was very impressed by the level of resilience among the business owners with whom I spoke.
“Many have introduced exemplary precautions and measures to enable a safe working and retail environment for both their staff and customers. I commend Mark Lauro and the rest of the Crumlin Traders’ Town Team, and other local community and sports organisations for the leadership which they have shown to date.
“However, I remain very alarmed about the escalating community transmission levels of Covid-19 in Crumlin and across the north, and indeed Ireland as a whole.
“The unfolding public health situation is very worrying. More needs done to achieve greater compliance in the Crumlin and Glenavy areas, and elsewhere, with regard to exercising social distancing by everyone, wearing face coverings, and use of continuous hand hygiene, and general sanitation.
“COVID-19 does not spread itself, it is transmitted through human contact. So, in this period I am appealing to all retail and licensed premises across South Antrim to comply with the public health restrictions and guidance.
“At the same time, I would urge the local community to continue supporting their local shops and businesses through this current health emergency, and to pull together to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus by respecting all the safety measures in place.”