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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”

Commenting on today’s decision to set a date for the retail sector to reopen, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“We strongly welcome this decision to reopen our retail sector this coming Friday - it is a major step forward for rebooting our economy as a whole. There is a long and hard road ahead for our local economy, but I have no doubt our retail sector will be at the cutting edge of this recovery”

Reacting to the Chancellor’s announcement on the next steps for the Furlough Scheme, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“It is clear that the furlough scheme is being gradually phased out with more costs for employers from August. Whilst this is not unexpected, it does significantly raise challenges for retailers in Northern Ireland who still do not have a date to reopen”

Commenting on the outline plan for economic recovery published by Economy Minister Diane Dodds, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This document provides further clarity on a roadmap for rebuilding the economy and reopening the wider retail sector”

Commenting on the Executive’s announcement that more retail businesses on the ‘non-essential’ list can plan to reopen, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is a welcome step forward towards the wider reopening of our local retail sector and our town and city centres. We will be seeking further clarification on the timings, type and size of retail that can open”

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s announcement that English retail businesses on the ‘non-essential’ list can reopen from 15th June, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is a welcome announcement by the Prime Minister, and we believe that 15th June should be the target date set by the Executive for Northern Ireland retailers on the ‘non-essential’ list to reopen in line with medical guidance”

Commenting on today’s publication of the ‘UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol’ Paper by HMG, Retail NI Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts said:

Commenting on today’s announcement from the Finance Minister on further rate relief for businesses, Retail NI Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts said:

“This is a welcome announcement and we are pleased that Minister Murphy has listened to our representations that a targeted approach to rate relief is needed to support small independent retailers during this crisis”

In their joint evidence to the Northern Ireland Assembly Economy today, Retail NI and the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium have called for the NI Executive to bring forward a recovery plan for local town and city centres.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts and NI Retail Consortium Director Aodhan Connolly said:

“We welcome the publication of the NI Executive’s Five Stage Plan as a significant step forward for our economy and for the eventual reopening of our entire retail sector with protections for staff and shoppers”

Welcoming the announcement by the Chancellor that the Furlough scheme will be extended, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“It will be a relief to many of our members and the wider business community that the Chancellor has extended the scheme. It is welcome that this revised plan allows for the introduction of a part-time furlough for workers”

“We hope that greater numbers of retailers will soon be able to re-open and move off this scheme as we make greater progress in reopening our local economy”

Glyn Roberts 07515710517

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