Shops will close and jobs will be lost unless government energy support scheme is extended, says RGDATA

RGDATA director general Tara Buckley

Viable family-owned food retailers are facing horrendous and challenging times – without support community shops and supermarkets will close: RGDATA warns Oireachtas Committee

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16 November 2022

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Earlier today, an RGDATA delegation led by president Colin Fee, an SME retail and business owner from Dundalk Co Louth, and director general Tara Buckley outlined the huge challenges that are threatening the survival of local family owned food and convenience stores and supermarkets across Ireland, before the Oireachtas Enterprise Committee.

Representing the owners of over 3,500 local shops, convenience stores, forecourt stores and supermarkets providing 100,000 jobs in communities throughout Ireland– RGDATA president Colin Fee highlighted how the collective impact of horrendous energy hikes and numerous business cost increases is threatening the viability of many family owned SME grocery stores.

“In my 35 years of trading I have operated through the Troubles in the north, cross border shopping, foot and mouth disease, the 2008 crash and the Covid pandemic and in all that time I was never as worried about the viability of my business as I am now,” said Fee, who owns four convenience stores a pub and a restaurant in Co. Louth, told the Committee.

RGDATA directors Rachel Twomey, Twomey’s SuperValu Deansgrange, Co. Dublin, Leona Pender, Browne’s Londis, Kilcock, Co. Kildare, Annie Timothy, Timothy’s Londis Abbeytown, Co. Roscommon and Padraig Broderick, Spar Croom Co. Limerick also took part in the presentation.

RGDATA called for a review of the Emergency Energy Support Scheme, a special support scheme for SME businesses to manage the phased introduction of the Living Wage, Statutory Sick Pay and pension auto enrolment.

The association also called for action to make insurance companies pass on the benefits of recent reforms in lower shop premiums.

This was in addition to calling for investment in the rollout of the Town Centre First initiative to address dereliction and vacancy and practical programmes to develop community led regeneration and proper engagement with local businesses when designing traffic management and mobility schemes.

To read the RGDATA presentation, click here.

 

 

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