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The Minister for Infrastructure launched the 2016 Independents’ Day campaign at a packed Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) reception in the NI Assembly last night, supported by Bank of Ireland UK.

Over 170 NIIRTA Members, Chambers of Commerce, MLAs and key stakeholders attended the launch.

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.

Applications opened on June 1st for small business owners interested in being part of this year’s Small Biz 100, the companies around the UK that will be at the forefront of this year’s Small Business Saturday campaign. Applications will close on 30th June.

The economic value of public transport to the retail and hospitality sectors in Northern Ireland is one of the themes being promoted during Northern Ireland’s first Bus & Train Week 6-12th June.

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has welcomed the publication of the NI Executives draft Programme for Government and urged the business community to make sure its voice is heard during the consultation process. 

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“We fully support the very broad draft outline of the 14 strategic policy outcomes in this Programme for Government and look forward to contributing in much greater detail”

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has urged the newly appointed Executive Ministers to quickly publish a radical pro-business Programme for Government.

NIIRTA, which represents over 1600 members, was the only local business organisation to publish its on Programme for Government, which has 97 policy priorities for all nine Executive offices.

NIIRTA Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts said:

One of Banbridge’s largest independent retailers is to close within the next month citing the impact of the new out-of-town Tesco Hypermarket and a 30% increase in his rates bill after the recent revaluation. It had been in administration over the past six months.

The Supervalu store, whose previous owner was a NIIRTA member, has a Post Office and is a major footfall driver in Banbridge town centre for other traders.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has described BHS going into administration as a sad day for the High Street.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is a sad day for the retail sector and the high street as a whole. The potential closure of the four local BHS stores will not just have an impact on their staff but also result in less footfall for surrounding retailers”

There are many factors which will play into the final decisions that voters make in the fast-approaching EU referendum, but the impact on jobs, the economy and living standards in Northern Ireland will play an important role for many people.

The CBI together with representatives of the agri-food sector (NIFDA) and retail sector (NIIRTA) believe that staying in the European Union is in the best interests of the economy, investment, jobs and living standards.

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has expressed concern that many local small traders will struggle to afford the National Living Wage, which is being introduced tomorrow.

 NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has welcomed the publication by DETI Minister Jonathan Bell of ‘Better Regulation: An Action Plan For Reform’ to address the problem of Red Tape on business owners.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: 

“This Action Plan is to be welcomed as it sets out a clear road map to address the ongoing burden of red tape on our members”

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