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Retail NI Meet With Executive Office Ministers on Coronavirus

Speaking after meeting the Executive Office Ministers Declan Kearney and Gordon Lyons this afternoon, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This was a useful meeting with the Ministers at which we all agreed on the need for a whole societal effort to tackle the impact of Covid-19. The health of our community is the top priority, but we want to ensure that there are jobs for people to come back to when this crisis ends”

“Retail NI urged the Ministers to bring forward a comprehensive emergency programme of business support, including all of the measures outlined by the Chancellor yesterday”

“This has to include the twelve months 100% Business Rates Relief and the funding grants of up to £25k for small businesses. We also need to see action for rent relief for businesses who are struggling during this crisis”

“Given that the 2020 Rates Revaluation unfairly penalised independent retailers with excessive increases of up to 50%, we have requested that the Executive postpone or even cancel it to support our members”

“Retail NI members are dealing with the same crisis as their GB counterparts and deserve the same support from Government. Given that thousands of jobs have already been lost in the last few days, this business support plan needs to be brought forward immediately”

“Right across Northern Ireland, Retail NI members and their staff are working exceptionally hard providing a public service, ensuring that the most vulnerable people within our community can purchase food and other essential items. Independent retailers such as convenience stores, grocers, butchers and pharmacies are in the front line of this crisis and deserve every support from Government and the community as a whole”