Peter Russell, GM, BT Business, Northern Ireland, pictured with Shane Logan, Chief Executive of Ulster Rugby, taking some time out to prepare for the Smart Business Show in the Odyssey Arena Belfast.

The Cathedral Quarter Festival is delighted to welcome one of the Labour Partys leading figures Peter Hain, Leader of the House of Commons from 2003 to 2005 and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 2005 to 2007 under Tony Blair. 

The Smart Business Show is a new event on the business calendar and its quite unlike any other youve ever been to. The economy is starting to grow again and if you want to be a part of this new tomorrow, or even just to survive in an increasingly globalised world, you need to be smart.The pace of change has never been greater and keeping up with all of the advances in technology, as well as the day job, is essential. Innovation, knowledge and doing what you do that bit better than anyone else are the keys to success; all of these are what you will find at the Smart Business Show.

Whether you've started a new business or are part of a large corporation, there will be something useful at this show for you and probably a lot more than you ever imagined. Make your smart move and visit the Smart Business Show 29 & 30 May at the Odyssey Arena. You can use promo code NIIRTA for your free ticket or by clicking HERE. 

The EU needs to establish a Town Centre Taskforce for Northern Ireland-that was one of the key points in theEU Five Point Plan launched today by the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA). 

Local European Parliament candidates Jim Nicholson, Anna Lo, Alex Attwood, Diane Dodds, Tina McKenzie and Ross Brown attended the launch in Ballyhackamore.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today launched a 12 week consultation on proposals for planning reform and its transfer to new councils. 

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has published its detailed response to the consultation on the new draft Single Planning Policy Statement. 

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today refused four retail applications in Magherafelt. 

 All four applications are located out of town and include proposals for large foodstores. Locations for the proposed developments are the Moneymore Road, Castledawson Road, Thornhill Avenue and Ballyronan Road.

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has welcomed todays decision by DOE Minister Mark Durkan to reject all four out of town superstores in Magherafelt. 

A NIIRTA delegation met with Minister Durkan this afternoon to discuss the new draft Town Centre First Single Planning Policy statement and the process of transferring Planning to the eleven super-councils.

Cafes are all about people, now theyre about business too. Business gurus tell us time and time again that creating a relaxed atmosphere in which to do business can make the difference between success and failure. No matter what industry were in, were all in the people business. Well only be successful if we really get to know our customers and colleagues. The pace of life today is such that many business people are so time poor they now prefer texting to even emails or calls.