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Hospitality Ulster, Retail NI and Manufacturing NI have today jointly hosted a roundtable meeting, focusing on the economy, with the new Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Smith MP. 

The Chief Executives of the three organisations, Colin Neill, Glyn Roberts and Stephen Kelly in a joint statement said:

“The three sectors that we represent are the largest in Northern Ireland employ tens of thousands of workers with a turnover of billions to the local economy”

Retail NI has expressed disappointment with the news that the Empty Premises Rate Relief has been effectively suspended as a result of the collapse of the Assembly .

The scheme gave business owners 50% rates discount if they opened a new business in premises, which had been vacant for more than a year. This will result in the doubling of rates bills for many new start businesses.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

Commenting on the NI EU Position Paper which was published today, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“It has to be welcomed that this paper has more detail on the UK Government’s negotiation position and that no physical infrastructure on the border, such as customs posts is being considered”

“Retail NI welcomes the proposal to exclude smaller businesses, who trade cross-border, from any new post Brexit bureaucracy”

“This is only the very start of serious and detailed negotiations and we will face significant challenges ahead”

Retail NI has paid tribute to its former CEO, Bryan Gray who passed away at the weekend.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

”On behalf of the Retail NI Board and our membership as a whole, we extend our condolences to the family and friends of Bryan”

“Bryan made a huge contribution to the Retail, Hospitality and Manufacturing sectors. He played a key role in establishing NIIRTA/Retail NI, advancing our policy agenda and was a true champion for independent retailers”

With less than 100 days to go until the old round pound loses legal tender status, Retail NI is encouraging its members, consumers and other businesses that are yet to prepare for the new 12-sided one pound coin, to do so now.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“2017 has seen big changes to banknotes and coins and it is vital that local retailers and consumers are aware of the deadline for the old pound coin losing legal tender status”

Sadly it is looking increasingly unlikely the Assembly and Executive are returning any time soon. Nevertheless, this should not stop the vital investment in key infrastructure projects; establishing City Deals for Belfast and Derry and creating more Enterprise Zones should be taken forward by the Secretary of State.

All of the above is included in the DUP and Conservative deal and there is no reason why we should not press ahead with these projects which are so crucial to the future success of our economy. Yes, it would clearly be preferable to have the Executive shaping and implementing all of this, but our economy needs to move forward.

 

Retail NI has responded to the statement made by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to the House of Commons on Devolution talks.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Government in Northern Ireland cannot be run on a ‘care and maintenance’ basis for much longer. Key decisions on funding for key infrastructure projects need to be made, not postponed”

“Having no devolved government and continuing political limbo directly contributes to further instability which is neither good for business nor the economy as a whole”

Retail NI has welcomed the new hourly Londonderry-Belfast hourly train service, which starts today.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This enhanced service is good news for shoppers, tourists, retailers and the local economy as a whole. Enhancing our regional transport infrastructure is a vital economic priority for Northern Ireland”

“Improved connectivity between our two main cities is crucial, not just for the North-West but for the region as a whole”

Retail NI Chairman Nigel Maxwell, Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister, Retail NI CEO Glyn Roberts and Translink's Alan Egner

Retail NI has launched this year’s Independents’ Day describing it as bigger and better than ever before at a packed launch last night, addressed by the Lord Mayor of Belfast.

Independents’ Day is Retail NI’s signature campaign, celebrating the huge contribution independent retailers make to the local economy and high street. It encourages shoppers to do that little bit extra on 4th July with their local independent retailer.

Retail NI has given a broad welcome to the financial support package agreed by the DUP and Conservative Party today.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Retail NI broadly welcomes this new financial package for Northern Ireland. Investing in Skills and Infrastructure is absolutely critical for the future success of the Northern Ireland economy, particularly along side a competitive rate of Corporation Tax”

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