THE cost crisis is the biggest problem for companies heading into Assembly elections, according to a new poll.
The Londonderry Chamber said the snap poll of more than 50 members put inflation and the cost of doing business at the top of the priority list ahead of the May 5 vote.
But the business body said political stability was also very high, with 92% of respondents saying the lack of a functioning executive in the post-election period would hurt their business.
Post-pandemic economic recovery also emerged as a key demand from the North West business survey.
House Speaker Aidan O’Kane said the results were startling reading.
“Costs are skyrocketing, post-pandemic growth is stagnating, and yet we are on the cusp of another Stormont standoff.
“Above all, this election must produce a stable and functioning executive that supports traders through the current cost of doing business crisis. No ifs, no buts,” the head of the chamber said.
“With inflation raging and rising, it’s no surprise that business costs are the biggest election issue for members of the chamber.
“An energy support package, rate relief and labor relief are just three measures a new leader could offer to support hard-hit businesses.”
Mr O’Kane also called for regional imbalance to be addressed in the next term and repeated calls for the expansion of Ulster University’s Magee Campus and North West Regional College.
“Every vote cast on May 5 has the potential to bring about the recovery, reform and results that each of us wants to see for the North West,” he said.
“This investigation should focus the attention of local representatives, showing them that nothing less than a stable and functioning executive will do.”