28 Business Orgs and Chambers of Commerce Support Targeted Rate Relief

28 Business Orgs and Chambers of Commerce Support Targeted Rate Relief

21 February 2017

Twenty-eight Business Organisations representing Retail, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Food and Pharmacy have all supported the targeted approach to Business Rate Relief for the independent retail and hospitality sectors as outlined by the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA), Hospitality Ulster and the Department for Finance.

In addition Chambers of Commerce from right across Northern Ireland have also pledged their support for the scheme. The coalition of business organisations will be writing directly to the leaders of the local parties seeking their support for the Rates Plan in their Programme for
Government discussions after the Assembly Election.

In a joint statement, the Business Organisations and Chambers of Commerce said:

“We fully support the proposals for a new targeted Rate Relief scheme for Retail and Hospitality for £25k NAV (Net Annual Value) and below for qualifying businesses”

“This new scheme of over £22million of rate relief is the highest amount ever, and is around two and a half times the previous relief available. This is significant and we urge cross party backing for this business-critical plan.”

“These proposals are not just supporting the growth in retail and hospitality, but also given the independent retail and hospitality sectors’ commitment to sourcing local produce, they are a real boost for the local supply chain and for the agri-food sector among others.
“We believe this plan is good for town and city centre regeneration, revitalising our villages and rural infrastructure and for growing our tourism potential.”

“Not only will this rate relief scheme be beneficial for many existing independent retail and hospitality businesses, it will potentially assist new start businesses in our sectors with a substantial rate reduction, helping reduce their start-up costs. Businesses will have the confidence to reinvest the money that they will save on hiring new staff, further skills training and planning for the future.”

'In 2014 the Northern Ireland Centre for Economic Policy (now UUEPC) made a key recommendation that the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme should be a more targeted scheme, focused on encouraging economic growth. The Rates Plan does just that with the emphasis on promoting investment and growth in two key sectors, Retail and Hospitality, which make a vital contribution to the Northern Ireland economy’.
Commentating on wide support from the Business Organisations, the Chief Executives of Hospitality Ulster and NIIRTA, Colin Neill and Glyn Roberts said:

“We are delighted with the wide support for our Rates Plan from right across the wider business community. It is absolutely vital that the parties commit to implementing this plan in their Programme for Government discussions after the Assembly election”

The Business Organisations supporting the Rates Plan include:

Hospitality Ulster
Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA)
Manufacturing NI
Food NI
Ulster Chemists Association
Belfast Chamber of Trade
Londonderry Chamber of Commerce
Newry Chamber of Commerce
Causeway Chamber of Commerce
Warrenpoint, Burren and Rostrever Chamber of Commerce
Cookstown Chamber of Commerce
Banbridge Chamber of Commerce
Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce
Bangor Chamber of Commerce
Magherafelt Chamber of Commerce
Ballymena Chamber of Commerce
Holywood Chamber of Commerce
Strabane Chamber of Commerce
Lisburn Chamber of Commerce
Ballymoney Chamber of Commerce
Portadown Chamber of Commerce
Omagh Chamber of Commerce
Ards Chamber of Commece
West Belfast Traders Forum
Dungannon Traders Forum
Antrim Road Traders Forum
Belmont Road Traders Forum
Ballyhackamore Traders Group