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In a joint presentation to the Assembly Finance Committee yesterday, the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) and Hospitality Ulster outlined to MLAs their joint plan for a reformed and targeted Rate Relief Scheme for independent retailers and hospitality businesses.

Hospitality Ulster Chief Executive Colin Neill and NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has welcomed the decision of the Bank of England MPC to cut interest rates to a record low.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“The local retail sector will welcome this interest rate cut as it is a boost to household spending power and consumer demand in very uncertain economic times following the referendum” 

Finance Minister with Colin Neill, Hospitality Ulster CEO & Glyn Roberts, NIIRTA CEO

Business Rate Reform is now the top economic issue for the Finance Minister. We need radical reform of business rates and not just small-scale superficial changes.

In the last UK Budget, the Chancellor announced many small retailers and hospitality businesses would now be paying no rates at all alongside a big extension in Small Business Rates Relief Scheme in England.

While the NI Executive has in place a Small Business Rates Relief Scheme, it does not go far enough to help the local businesses that need the most help.

Responding to the report on BHS from the House of Commons Work and Pensions and Business, Innovations and Skills Committees, the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“While I have no doubt there will be a detailed examination of this report on how this situation could be avoided in the future, the immediate concern should be how to support the thousands of BHS staff losing their jobs locally and across the UK”

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has urged the Executive to appoint a Junior Minister for Skills and Entrepreneurship to support the Minister for the Economy. NIIRTA made the recommendation in a meeting today with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Assembly Economy Committee to discuss the business organisation’s Programme for Government, The Plan. 

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

Two of Northern Ireland’s leading business organisations, Hospitality Ulster and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) have jointly published a plan to radically reform Business Rates.

NIIRTA and Hospitality Ulster presented their plans to reform the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme to Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir MLA during a recent meeting.

With today being Independents’ Day (4th July), First Minister Arlene Foster MLA has given her support to the campaign, which is supported by Bank of Ireland.

The Independents’ Day campaign celebrates the huge contribution independent traders make to local communities and to the local economy. Consumers are urged to make a special effort on 4th July to support these invaluable local businesses.

Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir MLA visited the NIIRTA office and met local traders in Ballyhackamore to add his support to Independents’ Day which takes place next week on Monday 4th July.

The Independents’ Day campaign, supported by Bank of Ireland, celebrates the huge contribution independent traders make to local communities and to the local economy.

Consumers are urged to make a special effort on 4th July to support these invaluable local businesses.

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has described the outcome of the EU Referendum as disappointing but urged the UK Government to create the conditions for business confidence.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“While NIIRTA recommended Remain, we accept the democratic decision of the people of the UK who voted to leave”

“In this time of political and economic uncertainty, we need to see real leadership from both the UK and Northern Ireland Governments to create confidence and stability for business growth”

In an eve of poll joint message, organisations representing business owners, trade unions and the voluntary and community sectors across Northern Ireland have highlighted the economic evidence, which overwhelmingly favours remaining within the EU.

CBI Director Nigel Smyth, NIC-ICTU Assistant General Secretary Peter Bunting, NICVA Chief Executive Seamus McAleavey, NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts, NIFDA Director Michael Bell, Manufacturing NI Chief Executive Stephen Kelly and Londonderry Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Sinead McLaughlin said:

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