28th October 2020
A delegation of Retail NI members met with the Finance Minister this morning to discuss further support for struggling independent retailers. Retail NI also welcomed today’s announcement from the Departments for Communities, Infrastructure and Agriculture of an additional £11.6m support package for town centres.
The business group has also called upon the Executive to get behind a Christmas campaign to get shoppers back into town centres to support local retailers.
Speaking after the meeting Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:
“Retail NI welcomes the further £11.6m support package for town centres by Executive departments as a step forward but much more will be needed to get through Christmas and beyond”
“We are now starting to see a domino effect of one trader after another closing on our high street and in our town centres which will result in the loss of thousands of jobs and businesses in retail, hospitality and the wider supply chain”
“As we have seen in many town centres across the UK and Ireland, it is very hard to reverse this ‘domino effect’ which will cause permanent damage to many of our local cities, towns and villages. The closure of hospitality and the fear of many consumers to go into town centres along with the huge growth of online sales has meant that high street footfall has fallen off a cliff”
“The Executive, working with Local Councils and business, needs to put in place a comprehensive promotional campaign to encourage and reassure consumers to safely visit their local town centres and support local retailers. This is not about a PR campaign; this is about saving as many jobs and businesses as possible at the most important time of the year for retailers”
“We greatly appreciate the business rates holiday and the support that has been given to hard-pressed independent retailers, but this needs to continue into 2021 on a targeted basis to reach the businesses that need it the most”