The closure of any business is regrettable and we are very mindful of the impact that this can have on all involved. It can be an extremely difficult time and that is especially so when it involves a family-run business.
Unfortunately it is not always possible for Government to prevent these outcomes. When considering assistance to any business the Government has to make careful consideration of what is an appropriate level of risk.
The Department of State Growth has made multiple attempts to engage with Lethborgs Smallgoods to try and find a solution to their business difficulties.
In 2011, the Government provided some small support to engage a professional to develop a three year business plan for Lethborgs.
Officers from the Department visited Lethborgs Smallgoods in June of this year.
Financial information was requested of Lethborgs Smallgoods to enable a financial assessment of its business to be undertaken.
Following receipt of this information in August and a financial assessment, the business was again visited in September and the owners were advised that a Government loan to support the continued operation of the business was not feasible.
Very regrettably and in spite of genuine efforts, it was not possible to find a way forward that was acceptable to both Lethborgs Smallgoods and the Government.
The Government has offered the services of the Skills Response Unit to assist the business in dealing with this situation and to provide all available support for the workers and the owners who have been impacted by the closure.
Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth