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Commenting on the decision of the Irish Government to close ‘non-essential’ retail, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“I was in contact today with our Irish counterparts, Retail Excellence Ireland, regarding this crisis, to convey that our thoughts are very much with their members as they face incredibly difficult times ahead”

Commenting on the Financial Support Scheme for impacted businesses unveiled by the Finance Minister, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“It is disappointing that this scheme offers no effective help to those businesses in retail and the wider supply chain which will have to close as a result of a loss of trade, footfall and consumers.”

“The closure of hospitality will be a hammer blow to our local high streets and we need the Executive to step up and assist businesses who are impacted”

Retail NI CEO Glyn Roberts presenting to the Communities Committee

Our high streets will never be the same again after Covid-19 and the closure of hospitality sector is a hammer blow to our town centres. That was the message of Retail NI in its presentation to the N I Assembly Communities Committee today.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts told MLA’s this morning:

Commenting on the NI Executive’s new Covid-19 restrictions, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“While we are relieved that the retail sector will be allowed to remain open, we are extremely concerned about the impact of the closure of the hospitality sector will have on reducing footfall for our members and our high streets”

‘The First and deputy First Ministers stated they want to urgently meet the retail sector to discuss these restrictions - we look forward to this meeting”

Trade NI, the Alliance of Hospitality Ulster, Manufacturing NI and Retail NI has warned the NI Executive to avoid a lockdown scenario, saying that it will cripple Northern Ireland’s economy and potentially set it back decades.

The group makes up the three biggest sectors of industry and the majority of businesses in Northern Ireland, employing around 300,000 people collectively. 

In a joint statement the Chief Executives of the Trade NI group - Stephen Kelly (Manufacturing NI), Colin Neill (Hospitality Ulster) and Glyn Roberts (Retail NI) commented:

Commenting on the speculation of a second lockdown, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“The Executive is walking a tightrope of reducing the transmission of the virus along with keeping the economy going. However, a second lockdown would result in economic devastation off the scale, resulting in thousands of jobs being lost and businesses collapsing as well as a huge impact on the mental and physical health of our community”

Commenting on the Chancellor’s statement of the expansion of the Job Support Scheme, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Hopefully, this will give some reassurance to businesses that face likely closure if the Executive moves to a second lockdown. The Chancellor also announced an increase in funding for the Executive to provide further support and we will be engaging with Ministers next week on the detail of this”

Commenting on the new Face Covering regulations, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Many Retail NI members’ staff have already been wearing face coverings for some time and we will work to ensure there is full compliance following the decision of the Executive”

Commenting on the restrictions on Derry and Strabane, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“These are tough, but sadly necessary restrictions which will hugely impact Derry city centre and Strabane town centre”

“While local retailers in the area will be able to remain open, they will lose vital trade from outside the Council area, given the travel restrictions”

“It is absolutely vital that the Executive urgently brings forward a support package for impacted businesses in Derry and Strabane”

 

Commenting on today’s Winter Economy Plan statement by the Chancellor, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is an unprecedented and welcome intervention in the labour market at a critical time for our economy. The Chancellor has adopted the right approach in targeting support to those businesses and employees who continue to struggle with this pandemic”

‘With many independent retailers facing huge difficulties the Job Support Scheme and other measures in this statement will give them greater certainty for the next six months”

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