The victims of the Brussels terror attacks were remembered at a business breakfast held on Thursday, March 24 at the FE McWilliams gallery.
The event, which was hosted by Ulster Unionist Party MEP Jim Nicholson alongside local MLA Jo-Anne Dobson, saw business owners and leaders from across the district hear from guest speakers Stephen Kelly, Chief Executive of Manufacturing NI and Wilfred Mitchell OBE, Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses.
Mrs Dobson said: “As we gathered to support small business growth and investment in Banbridge it was poignant that our MEP Jim Nicholson, who had just returned to Northern Ireland following the terrorist attacks in Brussels, was able to lead us all in a moment of silence to remember those people who lost their lives and were injured following the ISIS attacks on the city just 48 hours earlier.
“Similarly Banbridge town centre has born the scars of terrorist violence, however through the grit and determination of our many family-run businesses our town manages to retain its unique family atmosphere.
“I pay tribute to the continued work of our Chamber of Commerce, and all our local businesses - both established and new - as they both protect and promote Banbridge as a place to do business. “They create and sustain the local jobs and investment which drive our economy.
“I would like to thank all those people who attended and also our two guest speakers Stephen Kelly and Wilfred Mitchell for their presentations.
“Together we discussed issues affecting our local companies, with business rates remaining an area of major local concern.
“I know from our own family experience in Banbridge just how rewarding running a small business can be.
“We can be rightly proud of our many household names in the town which continue to thrive through the generations because they have their roots firmly planted in our community.”