EAST Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said the business talent in the McGarel Town Hall for the 2012 Larne Business Awards convinced him that the borough is well placed to beat “recessionary blues”.
The Finance Minister said: “In the middle of the current recession, it is important to celebrate the fact that there are still people whose enterprising spirit encourages them to open new businesses. There are still businesses that are thriving and looking for opportunities to create employment. And they are succeeding.
“I look around me tonight and I see people who are willing to invest money and look for opportunities for themselves and the community here.”
Mr Wilson said he was often lobbied by individuals and groups who ask: “What is the Executive doing about the recession and what are you going to do to change the economic fortunes of Northern Ireland?”
The minister acknowledged the responsibility of Government to aid the economy, but he added: “Increasingly, I turn it round and say to some of the business organisations that come to me and ask the Executive to spend money by saying: ‘Tell me this - what are you doing to help the economy to come out of recession?’”
Mr Wilson revealed: “I have seen so many businesses that have been knocked for six, who have lost their markets through no fault of their own and have picked themselves up and looked at new ways of doing things.
“They have looked at new products, new markets and new opportunities and I want to salute those who have been inventive and who have beaten, in some cases, the recessionary blues.”