It is frankly hard to believe that we are fast approaching 600 days without a working Government in Northern Ireland. While this is not ‘officially’ a new Guinness world record it does our international reputation no favours at all.

In those 600 days since we last had a Government, the world and economic policy has moved on. That’s why we need to see a new Programme for Government with radical changes made to economic policy to ensure we get sustainable growth and stronger productivity levels as we fast approach Brexit.

Commenting on today’s decision by the Bank of England’s MPC decision to increase Interest Rates, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is not a welcome development given how weak consumer spending is at the present time. Retail footfall has decreased and a very significant number of large retailers have folded-this increase will certainly not be welcomed by the retail sector”

Three of Northern Ireland’s leading business organisations are to jointly host a major Northern Ireland Business and Economy event at Westminster in September.

Retail NI, Hospitality Ulster and Manufacturing NI are hosting the event on 5th September, which will be addressed by the Secretary of State, Karen Bradley and the Shadow Secretary, Tony LIoyd, on the Terrace at the House of Commons.

This is the first time NI based business groups have hosted such an event at Westminster, to which MPs, Peers, NI businesses and London-based Diplomats will be invited.

As the the new Rapid Transit Bus Lanes go live in West Belfast from today, Retail NI has urged the Department for Infrastructure to keep the 12 hour time period under review and to consider enforcement of the bus lanes at only peak times in the morning and evening.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Retail NI has always supported the new Rapid Transit plans as a means to address congestion. We want to see shoppers and other city centre workers use the Gilder and make public transport their first option rather than their last”

Peter McBride and the Prime Minister in Belleek

The President of Retail NI, Fermanagh based independent retailer, Peter McBride has welcomed the commitments of the Prime Minister of no hard border and described the likelihood of ‘no deal’ as disastrous for Northern Ireland.

Peter McBride represented Retail NI at a round-table meeting in Belleek with the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland yesterday.

Commenting on the Belleek round-table meeting and the Waterfront Hall Speech, Retail NI President Retail Peter McBride said:

NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts and Board members Gavan Wall, David Barber and Pat Leneghan meeting with Mary Lou MacDonald and Michelle O'Neill at Titanic Hotel

A senior delegation from Retail NI has met the Sinn Fein Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD and Deputy Leader Michelle O ‘Neill MLA this afternoon over a working lunch to discuss current economic and political challenges.

At the meeting, Retail NI outlined the need for a ‘reboot’ of economic policy and the inclusion of key economic stakeholders in new discussions on a Programme for Government for an incoming Stormont administration.

Speaking after the meeting Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

Commenting on the Court of Appeal ruling to uphold the decision to block planning permission for the Mallusk incinerator, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This decision will have far-reaching implications for the planning system in Northern Ireland not least for the long-awaited North-South Electricity Interconnector"

 It will result in delays in large-scale planning applications currently being processed by the Department for Infrastructure. Millions of pounds of vital infrastructure investment is now at risk”

Commenting on the House of Commons vote to approve the Heathrow Expansion, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This decisive vote will be welcomed by the local business community in Northern Ireland”

“It is the right decision for Northern Ireland and the UK economy as a whole, particularly with the approach of Brexit and the need for increased global air connectivity” 

Lisburn Chamber of Commerce recently met with valued member, Greens of Lisburn to discuss recent problems regarding the issuing of parking tickets to customers arriving by car at the rear of the Bow Street business. Lagan Valley MP, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson also attended the meeting.

Owner Kenny Bradley highlighted the issuing of tickets by traffic wardens to vehicles waiting to enter the supermarket’s own carpark at the rear of their premises.

Retail NI has supported the Northern Ireland Local Government Association’s (NILGA) call for more powers for the eleven Local Councils.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Retail NI has consistently called for additional powers for local councils”

“As a business organisation, we are working with every council on planning, town centre regeneration and economic development on behalf of our members”