Northern Ireland high streets may face their 'toughest challenge' in 2023 warns Retail NI

Local businesses may struggle in the New Year without the functioning of an Executive

Retail NI has warned that local high streets face their toughest challenge yet in 2023.

The body which represents retailers across Northern Ireland says rising inflation rates and increased energy costs mean that many small businesses are likely to struggle with a "cost of doing business crisis."

An urgent call has been made to restore an Executive at Stormont so that small businesses will receive government support in line with their counterparts in England.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: “With a Cost of Doing Business Crisis, the most expensive business rates in the UK, rising energy costs, inflation and a fall in spending, 2023 is going to be the biggest ever challenge for Northern Irelands high streets

“English independent retailers and small businesses are getting a 75% reduction in their rates bills, yet their counterparts in Northern Ireland will not get this reduction and are likely to have inflation busting increases in their bills when local councils strike their rates.

“This is blatantly unfair, and Retail NI is making this issue our top priority to ensure there is parity of rates relief for our members.

“Throughout this crisis, we should have had an Executive in place with Ministers pulling out all the stops to support local families and small businesses. Restoring Devolution must be an immediate priority”

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