Budget Must Build on Retail Sales Momentum
North Kildare Chamber has welcomed today’s (29/08/13) CSO figures which show a 6.1% rise in the volume of retail sales between June and July and urge the Government to build on this momentum by supporting retailers and SMEs in the budget.
Speaking this morning, Eilis Quinlan, Chamber President said, “While we would expect sectors such as clothing, books and stationery to record an increase at this time of year, it’s encouraging to see that there was also a significant year on year increase of 4.7%. The earlier date for Budget 2014 should reduce the anxiety felt by many consumers in the run-up to the vital Christmas period. This should allow retailers to capitalise on the positive trading period reflected in these figures. But with the continued increase in bank charges, the lack of action on upward only rent reviews and the non-committal by Government to address our calls for the immediate setting up of a Retail Strategy Group, we can only believe that the Government is still ignoring the retail sector, which currently provides 15% of the jobs in our economy. To add to the travails of this sector, the lack of action on our minimum wage level, currently the highest in the EU, puts further pressure on a retail sector already brought to its knees. These positive figures provide the Government with the perfect opportunity to support continued improvement through Budget 2014”. Eilis Quinlan concluded by saying “ The Chamber are playing a major role in North Kildare in assisting with all businesses and we call for all interested parties to work together to help a struggling retail sector. In Naas we are finalising a Retail Marketing Report with Colliers International and Naas Town Council. We need all interested parties to work together to implement the outputs from this plan.”
North Kildare Chamber also call for
- Mandating the introduction of ‘free parking windows’ in town centres, where the first two hours are free, as this would be of significant benefit to retailers in town centres;
- The introduction of a targeted rates reductions for companies located within town and city centres, who provide much needed employment and contribute to the quality of life in these areas. This would have a considerable impact on retailers; and would help create a better ‘town centre’ strategy.
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