Retailers will need support after five month closure

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MEASURES will have to put in place t support businesses and encourage people to spend money, according to retail representative body, Retail Excellence Ireland (REI).

Welcoming last week’s announcement of the Government’s roadmap to unlocking the Covid-19 restrictions, REI chief executive  David Fitzsimmons said there will still have to be strong supports for businesses that have been closed for months.

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“Our members very much welcome the publication of the Government’s Reopening Roadmap. It provides clarity to all retail members as to when they can reopen and re-employ their colleagues,” he said.

“It is clear that Irish Retail will need significant recovery measures to survive the current extended pause in commerce, especially shopping centre located retailers, who now must wait until August 10 to reopen. For shopping centre tenants this is, to the day, a five-month period of hibernation since March 10, when revenues plummeted.

Among the recovery measures required, according to the retail group are a local authority rates cancellation for 12 months,  the three month Government rent grant of 60 per cent of the rent payable during the closure to be extended to five months.

REI is also seeking exceptional liquidity measures to shore up cash flow and keep businesses alive as well as a range of consumer spending initiatives, once the economy reopens and reemployment measures to ensure as many employees as possible are rehired.