On 4 July, Independents’ Day – which coincides with the celebrations in the United States – the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) is turning the spotlight on the future of our local independent stores.
This year’s campaign was launched at Stormont and has received the support of local Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson who joined guests which included members of the local Portadown and Banbridge Chambers of Commerce.
Mrs Dobson said: “Independents Day has been a hugely successful initiative for local small businesses in previous years and it’s great to hear that this year it will be even bigger and better! Independents’ Day shouldn’t just be about small retailers but also giving our support to the many local independent pubs, restaurants, cafes and other small businesses.
“The event is aimed at encouraging people to shop local and it also highlights the many positive contributions our independent retailers make within our community. There are many challenges which lie ahead for the Stormont Executive, not least addressing the issue of business rates and the fallout from the recent re-rating exercise which has been a disaster for many local traders. I look forward to working alongside NIIRTA and others in seeking to continue to help address these concerns.
“This year it’s also good news to hear that Translink are getting behind Independents’ Day through a new reduced fare initiative.”