Industry group Retail Excellence has called for local council rates to be waived for a year and grants equal to 60 percent of commercial rent to aid recovery from COVID-19 in the retail sector.
The call comes as business, including garden centres, DIY stores, optometrists and electrical goods suppliers, reopen on Monday 18th May.
Retail Excellence wants the Government to waive local authority rates for 12 months, give grants equal to 60 per cent of commercial rents for the period of the emergency, offer zero percent loans for all impacted businesses as well as putting in place a COVID-19 compensation scheme.
Retail Excellence chief executive David Fitzsimons said that Monday marked the first step on the road to recovery and called on shoppers to support local independent stores. “Please use them as we don’t want to lose them,” he said.