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Jack Hamilton, Marketing & Export Director, at Mash Direct receiving coveted, Food Manufacturing Company of the Year Trophy from Carol Smillie and the award sponsor

It has been an unstoppable year so far for Comber’s family-run farm, Mash Direct. The company already has over 120 accolades to their name and last night were named Best Food Company in the UK ahead of some of the biggest companies in the UK and Ireland at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards in London.

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has welcomed the decision to approve the third runway at Heathrow as good news for the local retail sector and the Northern Ireland economy as a whole.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is the right decision for Northern Ireland and the UK economy as a whole, particularly with the approach of Brexit and the need for increased global air connectivity” 

In a joint presentation to the Assembly Finance Committee yesterday, the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) and Hospitality Ulster outlined to MLAs their joint plan for a reformed and targeted Rate Relief Scheme for independent retailers and hospitality businesses.

Hospitality Ulster Chief Executive Colin Neill and NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has welcomed the decision of the Bank of England MPC to cut interest rates to a record low.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“The local retail sector will welcome this interest rate cut as it is a boost to household spending power and consumer demand in very uncertain economic times following the referendum” 

Finance Minister with Colin Neill, Hospitality Ulster CEO & Glyn Roberts, NIIRTA CEO

Business Rate Reform is now the top economic issue for the Finance Minister. We need radical reform of business rates and not just small-scale superficial changes.

In the last UK Budget, the Chancellor announced many small retailers and hospitality businesses would now be paying no rates at all alongside a big extension in Small Business Rates Relief Scheme in England.

While the NI Executive has in place a Small Business Rates Relief Scheme, it does not go far enough to help the local businesses that need the most help.

Responding to the report on BHS from the House of Commons Work and Pensions and Business, Innovations and Skills Committees, the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“While I have no doubt there will be a detailed examination of this report on how this situation could be avoided in the future, the immediate concern should be how to support the thousands of BHS staff losing their jobs locally and across the UK”

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has urged the Executive to appoint a Junior Minister for Skills and Entrepreneurship to support the Minister for the Economy. NIIRTA made the recommendation in a meeting today with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Assembly Economy Committee to discuss the business organisation’s Programme for Government, The Plan. 

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

Two of Northern Ireland’s leading business organisations, Hospitality Ulster and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) have jointly published a plan to radically reform Business Rates.

NIIRTA and Hospitality Ulster presented their plans to reform the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme to Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir MLA during a recent meeting.

With today being Independents’ Day (4th July), First Minister Arlene Foster MLA has given her support to the campaign, which is supported by Bank of Ireland.

The Independents’ Day campaign celebrates the huge contribution independent traders make to local communities and to the local economy. Consumers are urged to make a special effort on 4th July to support these invaluable local businesses.

Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir MLA visited the NIIRTA office and met local traders in Ballyhackamore to add his support to Independents’ Day which takes place next week on Monday 4th July.

The Independents’ Day campaign, supported by Bank of Ireland, celebrates the huge contribution independent traders make to local communities and to the local economy.

Consumers are urged to make a special effort on 4th July to support these invaluable local businesses.

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