Budget 2021: Important supports welcome, but keeping retail open the priority: Retail Ireland
Another lockdown would only exacerbate existing problems, such as the many costly rent disputes which remain unresolved, says Retail Ireland
13 October 2020 | 0
Retail Ireland has today welcomed “the range of important measures to support businesses and employment in Budget 2021”, but the Ibec group added that keeping retail open and trading over the coming months is now an immediate priority.
“Many retail businesses continue to rely on government employment and liquidity supports,” said Retail Ireland director Arnold Dillon. “The extension of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme beyond March will help viable businesses and underpin many thousands of retail jobs, although the eligibility criteria remains too rigid.”
Dillon added that the extension of the commercial rates waiver, the debt warehousing scheme and a new €30 million fund targeted at SMEs, will “also make a big difference to many businesses”.
“The range of supports available to companies impacted by Covid provide significant relief, but the focus must be on keeping retail open,” he said. “Many costly disputes on commercial rents remain unresolved, another lockdown would only exacerbate this and many other problems.
“Retail can make a major positive contribution to the recovery, but Covid and Brexit are unprecedented challenges,” Dillon continued. “Keeping the sector open and trading is the best way to avoid further job losses and business failures. We need to manage the threat of Covid through targeted supports and restrictions, while also sustaining economic activity and jobs.”