Childcare Vital for Economic Recovery-Retail NI

10th June 2020

In a presentation to the Assembly Economy Committee with Belfast Chamber and the NIRC and a meeting with the Economy Minister this morning Retail NI outlined the need for expanded Childcare facilities, Multi-Site grants for independent retailers and a town centre reopening plan.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“As the retail reopens and the economy as a whole it is vital that the private sector Childcare sector is able to safely reopen to support staff and their families in the return to work”

“We have consistently hearing feedback from our members that the lack of childcare provision is a huge issue and causing immense challenges for working families”

“In our meetings with the Economy Committee and the Minister, Retail NI also repeated our call for the Small Business Grants to include multi-site independent retailers. Given many of these businesses are reopening after no income for three months, it is vital that the grants apply to each property, rather than just the individual businesses as they have substantial overheads in adapting their stores to comply with social distancing regulations”

“Independent retailers in every other part of the UK receive this and Northern Ireland should be no different”

“The Executive working with Local Councils and industry needs a strategy to safely reopen town centres and high streets. This reopening plan for our town and city centres should outline the right health and safety guidance for retailers, key businesses in town centres, their employees and also consumers. This will no doubt involve the repurposing and reimaging of public spaces to accommodate queuing customers and significant changes to public transport.

“There is no doubt we are making progress on reopening retail and our economy, but we need action on these three important areas to support our members and the wider recovery”

Glyn Roberts 07515710517