A number of midlands businesses have been forced to close already this year.
While midlands business closures remain a disappointment, it can be balanced by businesses opening and remaining open.
That's according to Junior Minister at the Department of Enterprise, Neale Richmond.
Petal Cafe in Castlepollard was among many businesses forced to close this year, due to rising costs.
Bargain Central in Mountmellick also closed its doors for the last time recently, stating small businesses have been made "unsustainable for the future."
Junior Minister Richmond says the loss of small businesses can be devastating for a local community: