East Antrim Alliance candidate Stewart Dickson has criticised two DUP Ministers for cutting funding to Social Enterprise Hubs.
Social Enterprise Hubs provide advice for new or existing Social Enterprises in Northern Ireland. There are nine hubs in Northern Ireland located across eleven locations.
Mr Dickson said: “It is shocking that Social Enterprise Hubs have lost their funding due to no DUP/Sinn Féin budget.
“DUP Ministers, Paul Givan and Simon Hamilton, only three weeks ago had been actively considering extending the funding to the Hubs. This demonstrated the value of Social Enterprise Hubs to Northern Ireland.
“That funding will now not be extended shows the impact of the political crisis and election. Many jobs will go as a result.
“It is particularly disappointing that Downpatrick is the first hub to close with an immediate loss of jobs.”
Mr Dickson concluded “I fear that this is only the beginning of job losses due to the lack of budget from the DUP and Sinn Féin. Many jobs in the community, voluntary, and social enterprise sectors will be the first to go.”
Social Enterprise Hubs offer mentoring, advice, and training. They also offer best practice visits and space (administration or retail) where the social enterprises can test trade.
The nine hubs are located across eleven locations in Londonderry, North Belfast, South Belfast, East Belfast, West Belfast, Lisburn, Downpatrick, Lurgan, Ballymena, Strabane and Enniskillen.