New president optimistic but realistic

THE new president of Strabane’s Chamber of Commerce understands only too well that the road ahead for traders will be fraught with obstacles.

With the number of the town’s empty premises ever increasing as businesses go to the wall and on a week that the Northern Bank downgraded the outlook for Northern Ireland’s economy, Declan Hughes is nevertheless tentatively hopeful.

Assuming his position at last week’s AGM, Mr Hughes (of Gormley’s Footwear) has this week spoken positively about the tangible differences a functioning chamber can make for members. However he is realistic, realistic about the depth of the current problem facing traders and realistic about the chamber’s limitations.

“At the minute someone has to do something because there’s no point just standing, staring out your shop windows,” he told the Chronicle this week.


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