RGDATA hosts Independent Retail Europe (IRE) members

Tara Buckley, director general, RGDATA with Else Groen, director general and Ralf Gerking, president, Independent Retail Europe

Conference discusses EU funding possibilities for independent retailers



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25 November 2016

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Colin Fee, president, RGDATA with Ralf Gerking, president of Independent Retail Europe

The Independent Retail Europe’s annual conference was co-hosted this week with Irish member association RGDATA at Dublin’s Clontarf Castle Hotel. Independent Retail Europe is the European association for groups of independent retailers, with this year’s conference focusing on access to EU funding for the sector.

There are 23 groups and associations in Independent Retail Europe with a combined retail and wholesale turnover of 1 trillion euros and more than 555,000 sales outlets. Representatives from all over Europe came to Dublin to hear how to boost access to EU finance for groups and individual retailers.

The conference showcased the financing possible, both for larger scale headquarters-related projects such as building distribution centres to smaller scale shop-based projects, for example, waste disposal and energy installations.

The event provided practical information on what funding is available, how to access it and the identification of a number of programmes that could be of interest. The conference also helped create awareness of the particular business structures of groups of independent retailers and their needs as regards funding.  Speakers from the European Commission (EASME and DG Regio) as well as the European Investment Bank and the private sector (Dr. Brüning Engineering UG) each discussed the opportunities as well as experiences in this area.

RGDATA director general Tara Buckley said the organisation was delighted to host this year’s conference. “The retail sector rarely gets access to funding programmes so the focus of the conference is very welcome,” she added. “RGDATA will be encouraging the 3,500 independent retailers that we represent to take advantage of the EU funding opportunities highlighted at the conference.”




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