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Finance Minister Mervyn Storey and Social Development Minister Lord Morrow today sought views on alternatives to the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme.

The Department of Finance and Personnel commissioned the Ulster University’s Economic Policy Centre (UUEPC) to undertake an evaluation of the Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) scheme, which was introduced in 2014 at the time of the economic downturn.

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has given a welcome to today’s report from the Department of Finance, which sets out some initial thinking on the reform of business rates.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“The initial thinking of the review of business rates is moving in the right direction. It is welcome that Minister Storey has accepted some of our proposals, such as Revaluations every three years and greater transparency of the calculations behind that process”

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has welcomed the Chancellor’s Budget, particularly its emphasis on reforming business rates and lowering tax on small businesses.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: 

“Overall this is positive budget for small traders with its emphasis on lowering tax, reforming business rates and supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs”

On Business Rates:

In a meeting today with DOE Minister Mark H Durkan, a NIIRTA delegation reinforced its call for a strict Town Centre First approach to all Retail Planning Applications, including any new one at Sprucefield for John Lewis.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: 

“Out-of-town retail development has been a key contributing factor in the decline of our town centres, drawing away trade, resulting in thousands of independent retailers closing and a significant loss of net employment”

Assembly candidates Cllr Carla Lockhart (DUP), Máirtín Ó Muilleoir MLA (Sinn Fein), Cllr Carl McClean (UUP), Cllr Nicola Mallon (SDLP) and Cllr Nuala McAllister (Alliance) went head-to-head on Thursday 10th March at a NIIRTA Candidate Elevator Pitch event at the Europa Hotel.

NIIRTA has been proactive engaging with Assembly candidates, with their Elevator Pitch event being designed to give new first time Assembly candidates an opportunity to sell their economic policies to an audience of local business owners.

Responding to today’s British Retail Consortium report that high Business Rates and the National Living Wage could result in 900,000 fewer retail jobs, NIIRTA has urged the Chancellor to do more to address the high business costs in his Budget on 16th March.

A NIIRTA delegation will be meeting with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland this Thursday to discuss the Budget.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has announced that it is to hold an Elevator Pitch Event for first time Assembly Candidates from the five main parties.

Danske Bank's CEO Kevin Kingston, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and NIIRTA CEO Glyn Roberts at the launch of The Plan

Alternative plan for government is known as “The Plan”

The Plan is an Alternative Programme for Government from 2016-2021

NIIRTA has outlined 97 recommendations to help create a more stable economy

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) today (3rd February) launched their Alternative Programme for Government at Titanic, Belfast.  

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has welcomed leading property company Lisney’s retail survey that has shown a significant drop in shop vacancies.

Prime retailing locations throughout the province recorded their first fall in vacancy rates since 2011, down 2.5% from 17.1% in 2014 to 14.6% in 2015. This follows a detailed study of 17 towns and cities across Northern Ireland.     

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

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