After making representation to the Infrastructure Minister on relaxing delivery drivers' hours, Retail NI has welcomed Nichola Mallon’s assurance that businesses making an application to her department for a temporary relaxation of the regulations will have their requests processed urgently.

This would only be in exceptional circumstances to ensure increased delivery to shops, following the steep rise in demand due to Covid-19, while ensuring safety considerations are properly addressed.

Reacting to today’s Budget statement by the Chancellor, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Retail NI welcomes the proposals in this Budget to support small traders during the Coronavirus crisis, such as the Government covering the first fourteen days of statutory sick pay, deferring tax payments and a temporary business interruption loan scheme”

“We also hope the reduction of interest rates will help boost our economy and promote increased consumer spending from those applicable mortgage holders”

Commenting on Flybe entering administration, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Our immediate thoughts are with the Flybe staff and their families at this difficult time”

“While Flybe going into administration is clearly bad news for Northern Ireland’s air connectivity and our economy in the short term, I am confident that Belfast City Airport will find new carriers for these vital air routes across the UK”

“Belfast City Airport is a crucial part of our transport infrastructure and is vital to the future of our local economy”



A delegation of Buncrana Road based Retail NI members has met with local Derry Sinn Fein and SDLP representatives to discuss their proposals for improving access to their stores on the proposed upgrade to the road.

Retail NI has already met with officials from Department for Infrastructure to outline their concerns with the plans.

David Barber, Retail NI Board Member and Buncrana Road Trader said:
“This was a useful engagement with the political representatives. We appreciate their support”


A thriving independent supermarket in Northern Ireland has stepped up their contribution to sustainability with the introduction of new plastic free containers.
Milestone Rathfriland Nisa Extra, is now selling a large proportion of their take home meals in new Vegware packaging, which is made entirely out of plants and is 100 per cent recyclable.
The containers are transparent and look just like ordinary plastic but are made from renewable, lower carbon or recycled materials, and can all be commercially composted with food waste. 


Retail NI has responded to the publication of a new consultation from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, calling on them to ensure that a manually administered deposit return scheme does not form part of its plan to encourage people to recycle more.


Retail NI has described the suspension of the Rural ATM Rate Relief Scheme, which is costing Retail NI members an extra £130,000 as "disgraceful". The scheme provided rates relief on external ATMs for over seventy independent retailers in rural areas has been suspended as a result of Stormont not meeting.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is a completely unacceptable situation, with rural independent retailers receiving additional rate bills of up to £8k on top of already high business rate costs”


Since the start of this year, 15 ATMs have been ripped from the walls by diggers in Northern Ireland, leaving behind a trail of devastation. As in all of these ATM thefts, the actions of these criminals have not only caused immediate financial harm to the business targeted, but they have understandably caused fear in the community and impacted upon a vital service many local people rely on.