Don’t make a bad situation worse, Retail NI tells Executive

Don’t make a bad situation worse, Retail NI tells Executive

Retail NI has said a full lockdown in Northern Ireland, similar to the Republic, would be disastrous and could result ‘in the lost of tens of thousands of jobs”.

Commenting on the decision of the Irish Government to move immediately to a Level 5 lockdown, including the closure of ‘non-essential’ retail, Retail NI’s Glyn Roberts said “I was in contact with our Irish counterparts, Retail Excellence Ireland, regarding this crisis, to convey that our thoughts are very much with their members as they face incredibly difficult times ahead”.

 Destructive move

“Let’s be clear – the Northern Ireland Executive should not be considering a similar shutdown for Northern Ireland. Such an action would result in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in retail, the supply chain and on our high streets. Retail Excellence Ireland estimate this move will cost 60,000 jobs in RoI and the Executive needs to immediately rule out such a destructive move”

“Since the closure of the hospitality sector last Friday, many of our members in high streets across Northern Ireland are reporting a significant loss of trade and footfall. The Executive should not make a bad situation even worse”

“The Irish Government has stated they are putting restrictions on the ability of citizens to travel beyond their counties and we fully expect that we will not see a mass movement of southern shoppers to Northern Ireland.”

Three point plan

Meanwhile Northern Ireland’s business community has united behind a new three-point plan which they believe can save the economy and address the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country. They highlight three Cs – communication, compliance and compensation as the keys to preventing economic chaos.

The plan, supported by 23 business organisations including Retail NI, Chambers of Commerce and others, is urgently seeking an alternative course of action from the Stormont Executive to strike a balance between protecting both lives and livelihoods.