NEWS

Donegal businesses fear bank and post office closures

The message came from a survey of over 100 businesses across the county

Declan Magee

Reporter:

Declan Magee

Small businesses across Donegal fear the impact of the closure of local post offices and banks and most say they are not aware of government support to help them.
The message came from a survey of over 100 businesses across the county.
The survey carried out by Donegal TD Thomas Pringle also found that almost 80 percent of the businesses said the majority of their customers are local and only 13 percent said the majority of their customers were tourists.
The businesses that answered the survey span the county from Malin Head to Ballyshannon and from Glencolmcille to Lifford.
Over 80 per cent of businesses who took part said they are concerned about the impact of the closure of post offices and banks and only 20 per cent say they are aware of government supports for local business.
The businesses surveyed covered a huge range of different local enterprises including coffee shops, carpet companies, pharmacies, the hospitality sector, butchers, chimney cleaning, digital media, horticulture, health and beauty, agriculture, mechanics, and retail.
Just over 50 per cent of the businesses said they have experienced an upturn since the recession while under 40 per cent said they had not improved. Ten per cent said their businesses had declined since the recession.
Deputy Pringle said the aim of the questionnaire was to establish what the impact of government policy is on the confidence of small businesses in Donegal.
Government policies are failing and are damaging the sustainability of local towns and villages across rural Ireland," he said.
"Balanced regional growth and development for both urban and rural areas are necessary. Equal attention must be paid to export companies and micro-businesses to facilitate balanced growth across the country.
“I believe we need a completely new approach to regional development in this country but as long as we have the likes of Varadkar pushing aside vital projects such as the western rail corridor project Donegal won’t stand a chance. A new calibre of Government is required to override the anti-rural sentiment we’ve seen to date in the Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil Partnership for Government."

See today's Donegal Democrat for the full story.