During the month of April nineteen years ago, people across Northern Ireland were presented with an amazing agreement which would deliver a path for peace and prosperity in the years ahead. That Agreement won overwhelming support in a referendum one month later.  The business community and civic society are united in our gratitude to the UK and Irish governments of that time and of course international support from President Bill Clinton and Senator George Mitchell.

Retail Excellence and Retail Northern Ireland will today jointly present to the Oireachtas Committee on the Good Friday Agreement on the impact of Brexit on the industry.

Lorraine Higgins Head of Public Affairs and Communications at Retail Excellence said "This is a great opportunity to articulate the significant challenges facing the retail industry on the island of Ireland now that Article 50 has been triggered and I would like to thank the Chairperson of the Committee for inviting us to discuss these issues. 

Retail NI has described today’s publications of the EU Repeal Bill White Paper as an opportunity to remove and amend EU regulations and directives that restrict the business growth of independent retailers and small businesses owners.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“In a recent Retail NI survey a staggering 79% of members told us that compliance with excessive regulation is the biggest challenge to their business. Many of these regulations originate from the EU and will now be ‘cut and pasted’ into UK law via the Great Repeal Bill”

“During the course of this Bill through Parliament we should have an opportunity to amend or remove those EU regulations that are restricting business growth”

Retail NI has given its reaction to the triggering of Article 50 and called upon the ongoing talks on restoring devolution to include the establishment of a NI Assembly Brexit Committee to scrutinise the Brexit process and to take evidence from key sectors of civic society.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Retail is Northern Ireland’s largest sector of the economy and our members on the border and many other areas have real concerns for the future post Brexit”

With the new £1 coin being introduced tomorrow (28thMarch), Retail NI has urged retailers and the wider business sector to be aware of the changes.

Retail NI has welcomed the decision by the Chancellor to drop the proposed increases in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is a welcome decision by the Chancellor given that increasing national insurance payments for many self-employed people would have added to the tax burden for many local entrepreneurs” 

Launching The Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards from left, Cathal Geoghegan, Mount Charles, Ryan Feeney, Queen’s University Belfast, Damian McGivern, Ulster University, Gerri Wright, Phoenix Natural Gas, Noel Doran, Editor The Irish News, Karen Patterson, BBC Radio Ulster, Orlagh O’Neill, Carson McDowell, Laura Cowan, Titanic Belfast, Sam Davidson, Henderson Group and Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Paul Greenfield, Armagh, Banbridge  & Craigavon Council. See for more details and to downloa

YEAR eleven of the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards will break fresh new ground with the introduction of TWO new categories.

And other elements of the initiative have been revised and revitalised as the political and economic landscape enters a fascinating period of change.

The Awards were launched at Titanic Belfast at a reception attended by a range of business organisations as well as representatives of our main business partners.

Retail NI has launched today with the publication of its Programme for Government, Creating a Northern Ireland Economic Powerhouse and a survey which uncovers that 91% of independent retail businesses saw their costs rise in the last year.

Retail NI has described today’s budget as disappointing with little in it for the local retail sector.