Weekend Mini Summit For NIIRTA to Discuss Small Business Saturday
THE Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) organised a mini summit at the weekend. Local Chambers of Commerce and Business Organisations at the Titanic House attended the event to discuss Small Business Saturday and the forthcoming Rates Revaluation.
Addressing the thirty strong gathering of business representatives on Small Business Saturday, Finance Minister Sammy Wilson MP MLA said: “The Small Business Saturday proposal is innovative and I would like to voice my support and encourage others to get involved in developing this concept into a reality. Such an initiative could assist the small independent retailers who play a vital role in our local economy.”
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Vernon Coaker MP said: “I’m really pleased to be at Titanic Quarter with the Finance Minister to launch Small Business Saturday. It’s great to have the support of the Executive and I look forward to working with them, local councils and businesses over the next number of months”
“There’s been a great response from Northern Ireland to the Small Business Saturday initiative. I want to thank the FSB, NIIRTA, Pubs of Ulster, Ulster Chemist’s Association and Chambers of Commerce for driving it forward in towns and villages right across the province.
NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: “We are delighted at the progress being made in Northern Ireland to make 7thDecember Small Business Saturday. This is not just about supporting independen traders across the UK, but valuing the contribution Small Businesses make to the economy as a whole across the UK”
Commenting on the 2015 Rates Revaluation which is now well underway theDFP Minister Sammy Wilson said: “The business landscape is transforming and needs an Executive that reacts and responds to this rapidly changing world.
“The 2015 Revaluation will be challenging due to difficult market conditions and in particular the turbulence in the rental market, but, I believe this exercise is about grasping the opportunity now to rebalance business rates ensuring that the burden is shared and distributed fairly.
“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage businesses to get online or complete their forms in hard copy and provide Land & Property Services with the market evidence it needs to ensure the job is as good as it can be.
“The rates revaluation and local government reform will mean that hard decisions are being taken not only by me, as Finance Minister, but also my Executive colleagues.
“Business ratepayers I hope understand that the Executive is committed to creating the right conditions for Northern Ireland to emerge from the downturn into sustained recovery and in doing so rebalance, reposition and diversify our economy.”
NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts concluded by saying: “NIIRTA would urge DFP Minister Wilson to ensure that this Rate Revaluation further supports small business and town centre traders as its central focus. It is surely not fair that large out of town hypermarkets pay less per sq. ft. in rates than small town centre retailers and we would urge the Minister to close this loophole and create a level playing field”
For full information on the Rates Revaluation, business owners should visit www.reval2015ni.gov.uk