Retail NI has welcomed last night decision of Belfast City Council’s City Growth Committee to reject proposals to extend Sunday trading hours and instead support a programme of cultural animation for Sunday mornings.

Retail NI and USDAW presented to the City Growth Committee last night setting out their proposals for Sunday mornings in the city centre.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

The guidance has been provided by the Government and will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on:

Pat Leneghan, Glyn Roberts, Minister Dodds, Paddy Doody

A delegation from Retail NI has met with the Economy Minister Diane Dodds today to discuss the high cost of doing business in Northern Ireland.

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

“Independent retailers and small businesses are facing a ‘perfect storm’ of additional costs on 1st April with a combination of the Rates Reval hike, increases in the local and regional rates and the Living Wage”

BUSINESSES in Northern Ireland need access to highly skilled people to help further boost the economy, new Department for Economy minister Diane Dodds said yesterday.

She was speaking at Hickson's Point at the formal launch of the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards, which have grown into the single most important business awards initiative in the north.

"We need to capitalise on our ambition and innovation by creating a pipeline of talent which will help grow a globally-competitive economy in Northern Ireland that works for everyone," she said.

Reacting to the Home Office publication of their Immigration Plan, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:  

“Retail NI has concerns that these plans do not go far enough for our local retail, wholesale and hospitality sectors. It is clear that the UK Government is not listening to the repeated concerns expressed by the business community in Northern Ireland”

Over two hundred independent retailers and small businesses who believe they been mis-sold plasma screens attended a meeting last night demanding a solution.

The meeting was organised by Retail NI, which is assisting members in finding a solution. Political representatives from the five main parties also attended the meeting at the Crowne Plaza hotel last night.

Retail NI Member Alan Collingwood whose business is impacted by this said:

Trade NI, the alliance between Hospitality Ulster, Manufacturing NI and Retail NI held the first major business event, ‘Northern Ireland Economy – What Now?’ at the Long Gallery, Stormont today.

The event was held to highlight the urgent and pressing issues felt by the business community, following the restoration of the Assembly, including the need to boost the Northern Ireland economy.

Commenting on Brexit Day, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:   

“Brexit day should not be about celebration. Instead the focus should be on the hard challenges that lie ahead for Northern Ireland and its economy”

‘It is absolutely vital that the UK secures a free trade agreement with the EU over the next eleven months- a massive challenge given that the average time to conclude a trade deal is four years”

Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has responded to Belfast City Council’s consultation on 'Sundays in the City' with an emphatic ‘no’ to longer Sunday trading hours. The union calls on the City Council to engage in an industrial strategy for the retail sector that involves local and national government, retailers and all key stakeholders working together.

In gathering evidence to respond to this consultation, Usdaw’s survey of retail workers found that:

Retail NI has welcomed today’s announcement that Bangor Marine Ltd. has submitted a comprehensive planning application for the development site located at Queen’s Parade and Marine Gardens in Bangor.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:   

“This is very welcome news for Bangor town centre. The redevelopment of Queen’s Parade is long overdue and this new application has the potential for much needed regeneration and the economic renewal of the town”