Commenting on today’s publication of the ‘UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol’ Paper by HMG, Retail NI Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts said:

Commenting on today’s announcement from the Finance Minister on further rate relief for businesses, Retail NI Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts said:

“This is a welcome announcement and we are pleased that Minister Murphy has listened to our representations that a targeted approach to rate relief is needed to support small independent retailers during this crisis”

In their joint evidence to the Northern Ireland Assembly Economy today, Retail NI and the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium have called for the NI Executive to bring forward a recovery plan for local town and city centres.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts and NI Retail Consortium Director Aodhan Connolly said:

“We welcome the publication of the NI Executive’s Five Stage Plan as a significant step forward for our economy and for the eventual reopening of our entire retail sector with protections for staff and shoppers”

Welcoming the announcement by the Chancellor that the Furlough scheme will be extended, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“It will be a relief to many of our members and the wider business community that the Chancellor has extended the scheme. It is welcome that this revised plan allows for the introduction of a part-time furlough for workers”

“We hope that greater numbers of retailers will soon be able to re-open and move off this scheme as we make greater progress in reopening our local economy”

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Reacting to the NI Executive Plan, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is a step forward to move towards the lifting of lockdown and the reopening of the economy. Retail NI looks forward to working with the NI Executive on its implementation”

Reacting to today’s DfE announcement of a new £40m Micro Business Support Fund, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is a further positive development as many local micro businesses have been unable to access the existing Small Business Grants”

“However, while this is welcome progress, we still have no confirmation when the £10k and £25k small business grants will be altered to support those independent retailers and other small businesses who own multiple premises”

Reacting to today’s announcement that the Executive is to provide further funding for local City and Growth Deals and Infrastructure projects, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is a very welcome announcement which makes a significant step towards a post Covid-19 economic recovery plan for our local economy”

“Retail NI has always been a strong champion of City and Growth Deals as we believe they can be the catalyst for the regeneration of villages, towns and cities”

Reacting to today’s DFE announcement that small businesses which occupy a rental property are now able to apply for the £10,000 Small Business Support Grant, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Retail NI had been strongly lobbying for this and we are delighted that Minister Dodds has listened to our members’ concerns”

Reacting to today’s announcement of a £17 million support package for ferry operators, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is a very welcome development as it is vital that our supply chain from Great Britain continues to operate and provide consumers with food and other vital products”

“Retail NI wholesale and retail members rely on the ferry companies to deliver goods and we hope that this package will ensure continuity of the supply chain for the whole of the Northern Ireland economy”

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The Chief Executives of Belfast Chamber, Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI have this afternoon spoken with the First Minister and deputy First Minister to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on their members and to urge the Executive to expand the rates holiday for businesses experiencing the greatest impact on trade as a result of the pandemic.