Two NI bars given vital lifeline

Two of the best-known bars in Mid Ulster have been given a lifeline thanks to a Government backed loans scheme.

Friday, 1st May 2020, 2:26 pm

The bars have secured financial support from Ulster Bank to assist them through the coronavirus crisis, including a loan via the UK Government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Dorman’s, including Secrets Nightclub, and Mary’s Bar & Restaurant, both in Magherafelt, are owned and managed by Henry and Teresa McGlone, who have operated in the local hospitality industry for more than 30 years.

The support is intended to assist the two businesses in the town centre through this period when social distancing measures preventing pubs and restaurants from opening are in place, and into the future.

Owner Henry McGlone said: “The team at Ulster Bank have been incredibly helpful, moving very quickly to put in place this essential support. Clearly, we have faced a complete stop to our trade due to social distancing measures.

“Without this support we would, quite simply, be out of business. Ulster Bank have always worked well with us, but it is at this time of crisis that they have really come to the fore to enable us to preserve our businesses for the future, something that is not only important for us, but for the town as a whole.”

Damien Long, Relationship Director, Ulster Bank, said: “Mary’s and Dorman’s are a central part of the local economy in Mid Ulster, having seen substantial investment over the years, providing employment to many and attracting visitors from the wider area.

“Ulster Bank is strongly committed to supporting our customers in these times of significant challenge and we have worked closely with the owners and their advisors to put in place a package to appropriately assist the businesses at this time.”

Mary’s is a 7,000 sq bar and restaurant on Market Street in Magherafelt which dates back to 1876. It underwent substantial investment when it was purchased by Henry and Teresa McGlone in 2007, before reopening in 2008.

Dorman’s on Queen Street was established in 1905 and remains in the Dorman family through current owners Henry and Teresa McGlone (nee Dorman). Previously Dorman’s & the Opera, the 12,000 sq ft premises underwent a transformation in 2014 before reopening as Dorman’s and Secrets Nightclub. It subsequently won NI Nightclub of the Year four years in a row (LCN Awards).

Ulster Bank recently announced it has supported more than 1,600 business customers during the coronavirus crisis to date and has approved 95% of requests.

Support it has provided to firms includes capital repayment holidays, overdraft extensions, additional lending designed to support businesses to adapt to a rapidly changing external environment, fee free loans, and support through government schemes such as the CBILS.

More information about the comprehensive range of support measures Ulster Bank is providing to business customers is available on the Ulster Bank Business Hub.

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