Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Tuesday, 2 October 2012 14:03 UK

Opportunities for businesses

East Belfast MLA Judith Cochrane proposed the Alliance motion on help for businesses, on 2 October 2012.

Ms Cochrane outlined some alternative sources of funding for small and medium-sized businesses that were experiencing difficulties in obtaining funding from the banks.

The motion called on the Executive to ensure that businesses were connected efficiently to these funding sources.

Robin Newton of the DUP spoke in favour of the motion.

He said he was encouraged by the steps the Enterprise Minister was taking "on a global basis " to support Northern Ireland business.

Sinn Fein's Daithi McKay said the banks were "stifling, if not suffocating" many businesses.

Leslie Cree of the UUP said, "we need to use every tool at our disposal to develop our economy".

The SDLP's Dominic Bradley said he welcomed the motion but noted that it did not attribute any responsibility for job losses to the Executive.

The motion was carried on an oral vote.

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