Twenty representatives from business, farming, trade unions and the community and voluntary sector are travelling to London today (Monday 28th January) to speak directly to the leaders of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party stressing to them the need for Parliament to unite and protect Northern Ireland jobs, consumers and the economy.

The group has also invited all 18 local MPs to meet with them.



Tempo based Retail NI member Ruairi McKeagney

Retail NI has described the suspension of the Rural ATM Rate Relief Scheme, which is costing Retail NI members an extra £130,000 as disgraceful. The scheme provided rates relief on external ATMs for over seventy independent retailers in rural areas has been suspended as a result of Stormont not meeting.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is a completely unacceptable situation, with rural independent retailers receiving additional rate bills of up to £8k on top of already high business rate costs”

Retail NI has set out its priorities for 2019. The business organisation, which has 1800 members, is approaching its twentieth year and says that Brexit, Local Government Elections, City Deals and retail modernisation are among its priorities.

Retail NI CEO Glyn Roberts said:

“2019 will be a critical year for Northern Ireland and its economy. Brexit, no Stormont Government for a second year and the reconstruction of the retail sector and the high street are all huge challenges”

Our New Year’s Resolution - to move away from black plastic by St. Patrick’s Day 2019.

Mash Direct crack down on our use of plastic as we embark on our New Year’s resolutions for 2019 with a fresh green start.

Retail NI has welcomed the publication of the Town Centres Expert Panel report.

The expert group was chaired by Sir John Timpson, who was appointed by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Minister Jake Berry MP.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is a very worthwhile and well thought out document which sets out new thinking for the future of our town centres in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. It is very much in line with our own Regeneration NI report which we launched a few weeks ago”

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: