2018 was one of the busiest years on record for new hotel launches in Belfast, with an estimated 1,000 new hotel rooms.

NI city’s room rates of just below £80 a night driven by booming visitor numbers

Double Olympic gold medallist and Americas Cup veteran Iain Percy (left) who is also chief executive of Artemis Technologies. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

Artemis Technologies shortlisted by UK body for zero-emissions autonomous sailing vessel

Fiona Boyd-Armstrong and David Boyd-Armstrong say the Brexit process has been “incredibly frustrating”.

Shortcross Gin producer says Brexit isn’t just ‘a bump in the road’ for small businesses

One business leader said  industry leaders had told the British government directly that the no-deal Brexit plan would not work in Northern Ireland but that their concerns were ignored. Photograph: Bloomberg

Industry leaders warn of potential for chaos and increased lawlessness around Border

A model of a Bombardier aircraft. The Canadian company is planning to reduce the number of staff it employs in Northern Ireland.  Photograph: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg

Canadian aerospace group has started making ’necessary adjustments’ to reduce its workforce in Northern Ireland by nearly 500 peop(...)

Bombardier, one of 56 of North’s biggest employers and businesses  which   published an open letter to British MPs urging them to take a no-deal Brexit off the table. Photograph: Niall Carson /PA Wire

Firms hold off on new projects amid Brexit fears as ‘point of peak uncertainty’ reached

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the launch of the Action Plan for Education 2019 in Dublin on Thursday. Photograph: Julien Behal

NI business group says absence of a departure deal has seen investment evaporate

Invest Northern Ireland chief executive Alastair Hamilton and Terex Materials Processing president Kieran Hegarty.

Terex corporation to invest £12 million in new factory

From Sydney to South Armagh: Mick Boyle (left) with Killeavy Castle general manager Jason Foody

Armagh native who made it big in Sydney invests £12m in Killeavy Castle

A Finnebrogue Artisan stall at a trade exhibition. The company was founded by Denis Lynn more than 30 years ago, and today has an annual turnover or more than £90m

Finnebrogue Artisan has invested €20m in a new production facility to grow sales of its Naked Bacon products

Northern Ireland secretary of state Karen Bradley plans to fund some increases in key public service budgets by increasing rates, in a move not welcomed by businesses organisations. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Business rates are now higher in the North than anywhere else in the UK, hospitality chief says

Business has reputation for working with major family-owned firms

Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI chief executive, is to leave his post.

Move come as a surprise as Brexit looms

The 15-page document  details the “negative effects” of a no-deal exit for the UK as a whole, from border issues to increases in food prices, EU tariffs and a general economic slowdown. Photograph: Reuters/Toby Melville

UK government document says crashing out of EU could result in business failure in NI

Raj Ramanand, chief executive of Signifyd with Alastair Hamilton, chief executive of Invest NI.

Signifyd developing research and development centre in Northern Ireland

Food prices could rise by up to 45% in the event of a hard Brexit and WTO tariffs being applied, according to retail bodies in Ireland and Britain.

Retail organisations in the Republic and the UK join together to issue a stark warning

Chairman of MJM Marine Brian McConville, vice-president of vessel refurbishment at Norwegian Cruise Line Colin Gant, and chief executive of MJM Gary Annett

Northern Irish company will refurbish 3,800-guest Norwegian Cruise Line ship

Belfast City Hall. For the first time on record Northern Ireland’s employment rate hit 70.3 per cent in the last three months of 2018, according to official figures. Photograph: Joe Fox/Getty Images

Figure still lags the UK average of 75.8 per cent and is the worst of any region in the UK

Templeton Hotel in Northern Ireland

Tullymore House Ltd, which owns the Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort, has acquired the Templeton Hotel in Co Antrim

The loss of the Derry to London Stansted route after flybmi ceased all operations will “be very damaging to businesses in the region,” industry leaders have warned

Region’s businesses will be damaged by lack of connection to London, say industry leaders

City of Derry airport is to get subsidy for direct flights to London.

Route was previously operated by Ryanair

All of EDGE Innovate’s  material-handling and recycling machinery is made in Co Tyrone.

EDGE Innovate investing €9m in expansion programme

First Trust cited commercial reasons for the decision to cease printing its own banknotes.

Move marks break with tradition in Northern banking market

Belfast Harbour. Photograph: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Trade at the port increased by more than 900,000 tonnes during the year

Angela McGowan: “A one-year limit on workers earning less than £30,000 would encourage firms to hire a different person each year, needlessly increasing costs and discouraging migrants from integrating into communities”

CBI says government proposals would limit companies employing overseas workers who earn less than £30,000

“The North-South interconnector is a vital piece of economic infrastructure that, once built, will unlock greater efficiency in the single electricity market,” said Angela McGowan, CBI director for Northern Ireland. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Business leaders in North hold glimmer of hope cross-border project can be reignited

House of Fraser store in Belfast. House of Fraser, which is owned by Sports Direct billionaire Mike Ashley, employs 500 full- and part-time staff in the city. Photograph: Jacobia Dahm/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sports Direct to invest over €11m after agreeing long-term lease with shopping-centre owners

Plater’s Yard:  1.77-acre waterfront site for sale through CBRE

Plater’s Yard comes with planning for hotels, homes, retail and parking on 1.77 acres

Norbrook CEO Liam Nagle: ‘A no-deal Brexit . . . would be disproportionately felt in Northern Ireland’

Firms in North spending millions on preparations without knowing what future holds

 British prime minister Theresa May delivering a speech about Brexit in Belfast on Tuesday. Photograph:  Aidan Crawley/EPA

Investment volume levels in North fall to five-year low, industry research shows

 Among the new facilities that have been developed on the Hillsborough Castle site are a new cafe and tearoom which will open to the public from April 10th. File photograph: Frank Miller

Co Down family-owned catering company now plans to create an additional 35 jobs

DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds  have both previously had Invest NI within their ministerial portfolios. Photograph: PA Wire

Investment agency wants ‘every possible step’ taken to avoid no-deal consequences

Ulster Farmers’ Union president Ivor Ferguson said the figures must be a “wake-up call’ in the Brexit context. Photograph: Cliff Donaldson

Total income from farming dropped by £107m in 2017

Northern businesses and their customers are both nervous, according to business leaders. Photograph: iStock

‘We need a deal and we need politicians to hurry up and do it,’ say business leaders

Union leaders have warned that a no-deal Brexit could leave aerospace workers, such as Bombardier’s employees in Belfast, vulnerable. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Businesses dependent on cross-Border trade begin issuing protection notices to staff

This is the latest development in the NCA’s long-running investigation into the sale by Nama of its former Northern Ireland portfolio – Project Eagle – to US investment fund Cerberus in 2014

File relates to allegations surrounding £1.2bn sale of Nama’s NI property portfolio

 The number without a job in the North plummeted by 9,000 to 29,000 during the three months to November 2018

Labour market figures suggest Brexit is posing difficulties for retention of EU workers

A road sign on the Border between Donegal and Derry. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Confederation of British Industry warns of ‘devastating’ economic impact

An anti-Brexit activist waves British and EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament in  London Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

‘Every business will feel no deal is hurtling closer. A new plan is needed immediately’

Northern Irish firms are already losing out on new business due to Brexit, according to Ulster Bank. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Lobby groups say protecting all-island benefits of Belfast Agreement is vital for future

Westland has become one of Europe’s fastest growing garden product companies

Westland believed to be paying about £4m for the English garden products company

 Dunnes Stores held on to the largest market share at the end of 2018 as shoppers spent just under €1 billion on groceries in the run up to Christmas.

Dunnes Stores keeps top spot but Lidl and Aldi see greatest market-share growth

Although the North saw strong growth on its high streets in the five weeks to December 29th, shopper footfall fell in shopping centres by 3.7%

Shoppers from North and South make the most of seasonal bargains in the North in run-up to Christmas

Brexit uncertainty casts shadow over growth and sustained profits – survey

Brexit uncertainty reigns as businesses seek clarity from Westminster. Photograph: EPA

Companies are increasingly expanding in other locations, report finds

Avondale Foods is one of the North’s largest agri-food businesses, and a major supplier of own-brand products to Irish and UK  retailers

Latest accounts show slide in pre-tax profits from £4.5m in 2017 to £2.6m for the 12 months to March 2018

InfraStrata wants to develop a 500m   cubic gas storage facility at Islandmagee that could potentially provide more than 25% of the UK’s natural gas storage and a flexible supply of gas for the island of Ireland

Infrastrata is seeking to store gas at Islandmagee for the island of Ireland

Belfast properties. Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner says Northern Ireland recorded a “noticeable pick-up in price growth” and had emerged as the top performing region during 2018. Photograph: iStock

Report says average UK house-price growth slumped last year to lowest levels since 2013

John Healy, MD Allstate NI. Photograph: PressEye/Andrew Paton

‘Firms are still in the dark as to what trading conditions they will face’ says Allstate MD

Invest NI says its “sales proposition” for the North is unchanged. Photograph: Bloomberg

Businesses warn ‘enough is enough’ as investment plans put on hold

The  consensus among the North’s business and farming leaders is that Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement is a better option than a no-deal Brexit. Photograph: iStock

Northern Ireland Affairs Committee will also consider North’s ‘preparedness’ for no deal

The CMA said “no assumption should be made that FP McCann Limited has infringed the law”. Photograph: iStock

UK Competition and Markets Authority investigating FP McCann Limited

The average price of a house in the North in the third quarter was £135,060 (€149,000). Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

NI the only region where surveyors are predicting a further hike in property values

The  statistics will serve to underline the concerns of many business leaders in the North who have consistently warned that a no-deal Brexit scenario would be catastrophic. Photograph: Alan Betson

Sales to Britain and rest of EU decline for 2017

Northern Ireland’s private sector  grew its jobs base by 13,900 new positions while the public sector  also recruited an additional 1,160 people. Pictured above is  Belfast City Hall. Photograph: Getty Images/National Geographic

Number of people on payrolls increases to 765,880, latest labour market report finds

Students from anti-Brexit protest group outside Stormont in Belfast. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

May had received strong support from NI business community for her Brexit deal

St George’s Market in Belfast. Photograph: Eye Ubiquitous/UIG via Getty Images

Private sector in North the ‘least optimistic’ of any part of the UK, new survey shows

The new Primark store on Castle Street, Belfast, replaces the one burned down in August. Photograph: PA

Northern Ireland only region in UK to show an increase in number of shoppers

Dr Ciaran Richardson, head of research and development at Randox Teoranta. “There are fantastic career opportunities here in one of the most beautiful parts of the world – and the quality of life is second-to-none,” he says.

Company to host special recruitment drive on 24th

Imperva specialises in developing security products that protect organisations and government agencies from cybercriminals and cyberattacks in the cloud and on premises

New positions will be created in new Northern Ireland facility within five years

Primark’s landmark Belfast store was destroyed in a fire at the end of August.

Safety cordon in place since fire destroyed Primark’s flagship Belfast store

Rory McIlroy plays at Royal Portrush, a key plank in Tourism Ireland’s 2019 plan for the North. Photograph: Getty

Tourism Ireland had hoped 148th Open in Portrush would help drive record visitor numbers

Kainos is “well on the way to achieving a ninth consecutive year of growth”, says CEO Brendan Mooney. Photograph:  Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

‘Exceptionally strong performance’ for Belfast-listed tech company in first half of 2018

Inquiries into Project Eagle revealed that former Nama adviser Frank Cushnahan, Belfast solicitor Ian Coulter and US lawyers Brown Rudnick were to share €18 million if another bidder, Pimco, succeeded in buying the loans

Deal in which €6bn worth of property loans to a US firm for €1.6bn prompted a criminal inquiry

Bombardier workers in Belfast protesting at a US International Trade Commission decision earlier this year to impose tariffs on Bombardier aircraft in the US. Photograph: PA Wire

Canadian aerospace group reviewing operations around the world

Bombardier factory in Belfast: Canadian aerospace giant which employs more than 4,000 people in the city says the UK’s draft withdrawal agreement is an “important step forward”. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

Industry giants say draft withdrawal agreement ‘better than crashing out’ of EU

Since British prime minister Theresa May revealed details of the UK’s divorce deal, there has been  growing support from business groups in Northern Ireland.

UK draft Brexit agreement finds support among large number of business bodies in NI

The North’s business leaders fear a “no deal” Brexit. Photograph: Bloomberg

Ulster Farmers’ Union cautiously behind agreement

Derry. Unemployment in Northern Ireland has risen.

Up to 80 jobs under threat in Antrim

Brexit worries are impacting on Northern Ireland’s growth.

Brexit risks and Stormont stalement blamed

Castle Court shopping centre in Belfast: the number of people shopping in some parts of Belfast has plummeted by more than 60 per cent since a major fire devastated Primark’s flagship store.

New retail figures show the high street is the most popular destination for NI shoppers

Bombardier is expected to offer more detail on the planned cuts over the coming weeks. Photograph: iStock

Canadian group plans to cut 5,000 roles from workforce

Primark in Belfast before it burned down.

Primark fire fallout continues to hurt Belfast business

Michelin aid it will offer its Dundee factory employees enhanced redundancy packages, early retirement measures and support to start a new career.

Workers moved to Dundee which is now shutting down

The new polymer notes will be “the single biggest change to Bank of Ireland banknotes in Northern Ireland in living memory”

Cleaner, more secure £5 and £10 notes to be issued by Bank of Ireland UK from February

Beannchor group founder Bill Wolsey: proposed new 52-bedroom hotel will be located at Lisburn Square.

Hospitality group to open 52-bedroom hotel in Lisburn

Among other deals, the UK Chancellor has set aside £2 million for the “recovery and regeneration” of Belfast city centre following the massive fire which devastated Primark’s landmark store at Bank Buildings in the centre of the city at the end of August

Latest boost for the North means that the overall Northern Ireland budget will jump to more than £11.7 billion by 2020

Trade union bosses claim workers at Bombardier’s five sites in the North are worried about the group’s “continued outsourcing and offshoring of jobs and functions”

Unite deliver ‘collective grievance’ document to management on Monday

The fire-damaged Primark store in Belfast.

Fire has led to ‘huge reduction’ in footfall

 Confederation of British Industry president John Allan speaking at  Titanic Belfast to  business leaders. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

Managing director of meat processor Kepak Group says company has bought two businesses in the UK to maintain its supply chain

UK defence minister Stuart Andrew announces the contract award in Belfast

Thales will modernise air defence systems for the UK military

Seamus Leheny of the Freight Transport Association said there could be 4,000 commercial vehicles stopped at the Border every day  for documentary ID checks, with up to 50 per cent of these then subjected to physical inspections. Without a Brexit deal this could lead to “paralysis” at the Border. Photograph:  Getty Images

Grim picture of what life could be like after Brexit outlined to MPs

The latest M&A review in the North by business analysts Experian shows a 37.7 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of deals completed between January and September.

Commercial property action ‘subdued’

Mivan, was previously one of the North’s biggest construction companies.

Antrim company was bought out of administration by MJM Group four years ago

Artemis Technologies chief executive Iain Percy, Northern Ireland secretary of state Karen Bradley, Belfast Harbour chief executive Joe O’Neill and Mark Gillan of Artemis Technologies

Artemis plans to build a fossil fuel-free passenger vessel from Belfast Harbour

Porous liquids  contain up to 10,000 times the number of cavities that are found in other liquids.

Materials have potential to help address climate change

“This represented the largest increase (albeit from low levels) in the number of unemployed in six years.” Photograph: iStock

NI unemployment rate up from 3.5% at 4.3%, ahead of UK average for first time in a year

Chief executive John Cunningham said the company had an “ambitious and strategic growth plan”

Northern Irish firm develops and manufactures high-tech engineering solutions

According to InfraStrata: “Whilst a Brexit ‘No Deal’ generally increases uncertainty, the directors do not believe that it will affect this application”

InfraStrata’s plan is to provide more than 25% of the UK’s natural gas storage in a salt cavern in the North

Charred Primark store in Belfast city centre: safety cordon around site has split  busiest thoroughfare and the city centre in two.

Consumers 30% less active in North’s city since Primark flagship outlet fire in August

The CEF research shows an increase over the last six months in the number of Northern construction firms doing business in the Republic. Photograph: iStock

NI construction firms bemoan lack of functioning executive to decide on capital projects

The historic five-storey Bank Buildings in Belfast city centre devastated by  fire.

Retailer submits application outlining how it may use some of building’s original features

The Ulster University Economic Policy Centre has reduced its economic forecasts for the North. Photograph: Bloomberg

But beneficial deal would deliver 21,000 new jobs at least, says Ulster University

SHS’s brands include Merrydown Cider, Shloer and WKD. Photograph: iStock

Belfast-based SHS Group owns more than 100 consumer brands

Its latest set of accounts show MJM’s turnover outside of the UK totalled £42 million last year compared to £49.8 million a year earlier while in the UK MJM’s turnover also fell from £11.6 million to £7.4 million.

Company records slight increase in pre-tax profits

Christine Ourmières-Widener, Flybe CEO.

Carriers ‘forced to adopt a holding position’

Ulster Farmers’ Union: “The worst possible outcome for the farming industry is a no-deal”. Photograph: iStock

Ulster Farmers’ Union urges UK government to ensure hard Brexit avoided

Walkabout’s key Irish resource is in the Sperrin Mountains in Co Tyrone. Photograph: iStock

Walkabout Resources bought Irish portfolio last year

Foyle Port’s day-to-day operations straddle Derry and Donegal.

Legislation governing port predates partition

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