Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement of £4.9bn business support grant, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is a welcome move by the Chancellor, and we hope that our Executive will work night and day to get these grants paid out to independent retailers and other high streets

“Retail NI also wants the Executive to include essential independent food retailers, who have lost trade and footfall, in this grant scheme. With footfall reduced by 78%, many of these businesses are struggling to trade in town and city centres which are virtual ghost towns, with most of their neighbouring businesses closed”

“With offices, non-essential retail and hospitality closed, custom for these businesses has decreased dramatically and will mean they have no choice but to close, further adding to the challenges of the high street

“With the lockdown now being tightened we need the Executive to bring forward a comprehensive business support package, including further rates relief for the whole of 2021”

“If the Executive does not take immediate action, then we are facing the loss of businesses and jobs which will be off the scale”

“As Churchill often said in WW2, ‘Action This Day’

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