Retail NI Comments on Extension of Lockdown

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Commenting on the decision of the Executive to extend lockdown, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This decision is not unexpected but will come at a heavy cost to the local economy. There will be many independent retailers who will be unable to survive this, particularly if it lasts until Easter”

“The Executive needs to step up and provide further support to independent retailers if they are to stand any chance of survival. Retail NI calls upon the Executive to include essential independent food retailers, who have lost trade and footfall, in the Financial Support Scheme. Many of these businesses are trying to trade in town and city centres which are virtual ghost towns, with most of their neighbouring businesses closed”

“It is blatantly unfair that local independent retailers who sell books, toys, clothes and homeware are still not being allowed to operate a click and collect service while large supermarkets can remain open, sell these products and continue to make sizeable profits”

“If the Executive is serious about supporting small businesses then it needs to give these local independent retailers a lifeline by immediately permitting them to operate a click and collect service on a strict appointment only basis, which would be subject to strict inspection”

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