Molloy calls on Mid-Ulster entrepreneurs to avail of business scheme

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Mid Ulster MP Francie Molloy has called on entrepreneurs across rural Tyrone to get ready for a new £27m business scheme, which has been developed with country-folk in mind.

Applications for the Rural Business Investment Scheme, which plans to boost rural economies across Northern Ireland, are due to open next spring.

The scheme, funded through Agriculture Minister, Michelle O’Neill’s department, has been praised by Sinn Fein MP Mr Molloy.

He said: “I welcome Minister Michelle O’Neill’s announcement that the draft Rural Development Programme programme is being finalised and is expected in October.

“The new Programme will have £27m earmarked for a Rural Business Investment Scheme is aimed at creating and developing non-agricultural activities in rural areas.

“This is an excellent opportunity for people who have a business idea or established businesses they want to grow and develop.

“Rural businesses face additional challenges compared to their urban counterparts - such as higher transport costs, poor infrastructure, smaller population centres, planning constraints and sporadic broadband coverage.

“The Rural Business Investment Scheme, which should not be confused with the larger Farm Business Improvement Scheme, aims to create more Small to Medium Enterprise’s (SMEs) in rural areas and is open to everyone who has a business proposal.

“I strongly advise people who are considering applying to the new scheme to start working on their business cases now and get professional help from organisations such as InvestNI.

He added: “In these bleak economic times, this new programme represents a great opportunity for job creation and regeneration in rural areas.”