The East Antrim Assembly Member said: “We must support industrial de-rating, while examining other ways to give local businesses the best conditions for competing on the global stage. We simply must put a robust package of support and incentives for our local businesses.
“It is extremely important to have a strong economy to safeguard political stability in Northern Ireland. This Assembly will be judged on how we promote the economic growth necessary to give the people of Northern Ireland the economy they deserve.
“It is vital that we do everything we can to encourage economic growth, particularly in our indigenous small to medium-sized local enterprises.
“I wish to take this opportunity to praise the work of the Northern Ireland Manufacturing Focus Group and hail the cross-party support that they received at last year’s rally at the Waterfront Hall.
“The Assembly must also seek to gain tax-varying powers to give our businesses the best chance of competing strongly and effectively within the global market.”