Commenting on the publication of the Irish Government no deal Brexit plan, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“It is a major cause for concern amongst the local business community that the Irish and UK Governments have both published plans for a no deal scenario”

“A no deal would be an economic disaster for Northern Ireland”

“The Prime Minister’s draft withdrawal deal is in no way perfect, but it is definitely preferable to crashing out of the EU with no deal”

Arminte Imbrasiene and Reuben McFeeters, Mash Direct with The Welcome Organisation Representative

The Christmas holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends, usually involving a calendar full of fun and joyous festivities. For those in vulnerable positions, this may not be the case as Christmas reminds them of what they don’t have or loved ones they are missing.

Mash Direct, the award-winning vegetable side dish producer wanted to get into the holiday spirit and spread the Christmas cheer by getting involved with two local charities; East Belfast Mission and The Welcome Organisation to support those in need this Christmas.

Commenting on the decision of the Prime Minister to postpone the Brexit Deal Vote in the House of Commons today, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“While it was very clear that the Prime Minister would have lost the vote on the draft deal, its postponement and more negotiations with EU causes ever more instability for the economy and the business community”

“The business community recognises that the draft deal was far from perfect but it was far better than a disastrous no deal”

Keith Irvine, GM Wardens, Secretary of State and Glyn Roberts having coffee in Knott’s Bakery in Newtownards this morning with local traders.

With this year’s Small Business Saturday taking place tomorrow Saturday (1st December), Retail NI has urged consumers to pull out all the stops to support their local independent retailers and make this year the best yet. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, gave her support for Small Business Saturday when she visited Retail NI member Wardens and other traders in Newtownards today.

Wardens are one of the Small Business Saturday Top 100.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley MP said:

The Minister for High Streets, Jake Berry pictured with Prof Nola Hewitt-Dundas of Queen's University Management School & Glyn Roberts of Retail NI

Retail NI has launched a 47 point plan to revamp Northern Ireland’s high streets at the Regeneration NI conference today at Queen’s University Belfast.

Among the keynote speakers at the conference were the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, Local Growth and High Streets, Jake Berry MP; Andrew Carter, Chief Executive of the influential think tank, Centre for Cities; and Professor Greg Keefe, Head of the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s University.

Glyn Roberts, Retail NI Chief Executive said:

Retail NI has, after careful consideration of the 500-page document and meetings with NIO and Cabinet Office officials in London, given its support to the draft deal.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This deal is by no means perfect but it is preferable to the economic disaster of a no deal. If this deal is not voted through the House of Commons then we face the chaos of the UK crashing out of the EU”

Belfast Chamber of Commerce, Retail NI and Hospitality Ulster have welcomed confirmation that Primark is to open a store in Commonwealth House on December 8th.

Belfast Chamber President Rajesh Rana, Retail NI CEO Glyn Roberts and Hospitality Ulster CEO Colin Neill said:

“This is a welcome development which will increase footfall for the Castle Street traders who have been suffering greatly reduced trade since the fire”

“It is also good news for Belfast City Centre as a whole that a Primark store will be open before Christmas”

Retail NI, Hospitality Ulster and Manufacturing NI have jointly called upon Northern Ireland's eleven Local Councils not to increase business rates. Their joint call comes as the Councils begin considering what level to set their business rates at for next year’s budget.

The three business organisations will be jointly writing out to the Mayors and Chairs of all eleven councils.

The Chief Executives of Retail NI, Hospitality Ulster and Manufacturing NI, Glyn Roberts, Colin Neill and Stephen Kelly said:

In this morning’s meeting in City Hall with the Secretary of State, Belfast City Council and business representatives, Retail NI raised the issue of English independent retailers getting a third off their rates bill in the Budget and their Northern Ireland counterparts getting nothing.

The meeting also covered Primark, City Deals and the lack of a Government at Stormont.

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

Responding to today’s Budget, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Retail NI broadly welcomes this Budget and we are pleased that our extensive engagement at Westminster with MPs and UK Government Ministers has successfully delivered results such as the £2m to deal with the Primark fire and the £650m Future High Streets Fund.”

“The £2m for dealing with the aftermath of the Primark fire is welcome, but more will be needed to deal with the long-term impact of this dreadful situation”