‘Independent shops the best supporters of local communities’: RGDATA president tells EU Parliament workshop

Jim Power, economist and Tara Buckley, director general, RGDATA showcasing the report which outlines the economic contribution of local, independent retailers

Retailer and RGDATA president Colin Fee highlights the importance of local, family-owned shops at a special presentation in Brussels



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18 April 2016

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Independent retailer and RGDATA president Colin Fee, who operates convenience and forecourt stores in Dundalk and Drogheda, will highlight the significant contribution made by community retailers to Irish towns and villages at a special event in Brussels this afternoon.

The event entitled ‘The social impact of independent retailers in the local community’ takes place at 3pm on Monday 18 April at the European Parliament in Brussels, hosted by MEP Arne Gericke and Independent Retail Europe.

The RGDATA presentation will highlight “Local Heroes II” – research commissioned by RGDATA and compiled by economist Jim Power which demonstrates the significant social and economic contribution of Irish family owned shops. The report’s main points are highlighted in a below panel.

Commenting on the presentation, Tara Buckley, director general, RGDATA said: “It is vital that MEPs hear directly from local community retailers so that they understand the unique contribution that they make. Colin Fee is a great example of a Local Hero – he is a local Irish entrepreneur who runs three shops with his brother Eugene providing 98 jobs in Dundalk and Blackrock, Co Louth.”

Explaining the reasons behind his presentation, Colin Fee said: “As president of RGDATA, I believe it is important that politicians and regulators hear directly from local entrepreneurs about the issues and concerns we have about EU regulation and red tape and the impact it has on small family owned businesses”.

The RGDATA Local Heroes II report is available on www.rgdata.ie.


In his presentation Colin Fee will highlight the following: 

  • Irish local independent family-owned shops invest €3.62bn annually in the national economy and support 90,000 jobs.
  • Local independent food shops are at the very heart of vibrant communities in Ireland – contributing over €100m annually in local government charges and investing €41m in local sponsorship.
  • The report clearly demonstrates that family owned shops are the best supporters of Ireland and Irish towns and villages. Money spent in local shops it is worth three times more to the local community.
  • The research shows every €100 euro spent in a locally owned shop results in an injection of €250 into the local economy.
  • Family owned shops are major employers in local economies and give many people their first job. Independent convenience/grocery retailers are the most significant employers in the Irish retail sector supporting 90,000 jobs.




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