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Childcare Vital for Economic Recovery - Retail NI

In a presentation to the Assembly Economy Committee with Belfast Chamber and the NIRC and a meeting with the Economy Minister this morning, Retail NI outlined the need for expanded childcare facilities, multi-site grants for independent retailers and a town centre reopening plan.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“As the retail sector and the economy as a whole reopen, it is vital that the private childcare sector is able to safely reopen to support staff and their families in the return to work”

“We have consistently been hearing feedback from our members that the lack of childcare provision is a huge issue and is causing immense challenges for working families”

“In our meetings with the Economy Committee and the Minister, Retail NI also repeated its call for the small business grants to include multi-site independent retailers. Given many of these businesses are reopening after no income for three months, it is vital that the grants apply to each property, rather than just one individual store as they have substantial overheads in adapting their premises to comply with social distancing regulations”

“Independent retailers in every other part of the UK received grants for each shop and Northern Ireland should be no different”

“The Executive, working with Local Councils and industry, needs a strategy to safely reopen town centres and high streets. This reopening plan for our town and city centres should outline the right health and safety guidance for retailers, key businesses in town centres, their employees and consumers. This will no doubt involve the repurposing and reimaging of public spaces to accommodate queuing customers and significant changes to public transport.

“There is no doubt we are making progress on reopening retail and our economy, but we need action on these three important areas to support our members and the wider recovery”

Glyn Roberts 07515710517