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Wilson applauds Northern Ireland’s Independent Retailers

Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson reiterated his appreciation of the resilience of our local retailers and the contribution they make to the local economy.
Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Minister was speaking as he gave the keynote address at last night’s Neighbourhood Retailer Awards 2011 held in the Ramada Hotel, Belfast.

Speaking about the importance of the sector the Minister said: “Northern Ireland has a proud history of independent, family run retailers. Many of these businesses have been severely affected by this prolonged economic downturn and the recession has dented consumer confidence.

“However, I firmly believe that the resilience of our local retailers will enable them to play their part in helping to grow the Northern Ireland economy as we seek to emerge for the global recession.

“The Executive have made it a priority to implement initiatives to assist small business including the independent retailers and one of those measures is the decision to examine our current rating system – over the next three years, a period when we want to create the conditions for a sustained economic recovery, we want to ensure a balance to the non-domestic rating system.

“The consultation on the rating proposals closed three days ago and as independent retailers your views and opinions are of vital importance. This has been an opportunity for those of you at the forefront and who have experienced the harsh financial climate to have your say.

“All of the submissions will be carefully considered and it is hoped that an announcement on final decisions will be made by the end of the year and that legislation will enable this change to be implemented in time for next year’s rate bills.”

In closing the Minister said: “There is resilience in our local economy and the award winners here at this Gala event are testament to that. Amid the difficult circumstances we face I am convinced that there are considerable grounds for optimism.”

Notes to editors:

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