Small businesses are facing ‘perfect storm’ – Retail NI

Delegation discussed high cost of doing business in Northern Ireland with Economy Minister, Diane Dodds

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3 March 2020 | 0

A delegation from Retail NI met with the NI Economy Minister, Diane Dodds to discuss the high cost of doing business in Northern Ireland.

Speaking after the meeting, Glyn Roberts, chief executive, Retail NI said: “Independent retailers and small businesses are facing a ‘perfect storm’ of additional costs on 1 April with a combination of the rates reval hike, increases in the local and regional rates and the living wage”

“While businesses in Northern Ireland continue to pay the highest rates in the UK, our economy will not reach its full potential and our high streets will continue to decline,” he added.

“Small businesses in England get a 50% rates discount with a net asset value (NAV) of up to £51k and our members get a paltry 20% discount on a NAV of £15k. In addition, Retail NI members are already paying expensive energy costs and struggling with an increasing burden of red tape and regulation.

“At our meeting with Minister Dodds we urged her and her executive colleagues not to support any increase in the regional business rate when it is set in the local budget,” Roberts added. “We also requested that the Minister set up a working group to jointly examine ways to reduce high costs on business and a renewed better regulation strategy.”

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