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New lockdown will destroy jobs and businesses, says Retail NI

Glyn Roberts, chief executive, Retail NI.

Retail NI is urging the Northern Ireland Executive to avoid a second lockdown, as positive cases of Covid-19 continue to rise sharply, warning it would result in economic devastation.

“The Executive is walking a tightrope of reducing the transmission of the virus along with keeping the economy going,” said Glyn Roberts, chief executive, Retail NI.

“However, a second lockdown would result in economic devastation off the scale, resulting in thousands of jobs being lost and businesses collapsing as well as a huge impact on the mental and physical health of our community.

“In a meeting this morning with the Finance Minister we asked him to outline what support businesses will be given to help them with the running costs they will continue to incur if they are forced to shut.

“In addition, what assistance will be given to retailers who aren’t told to close but are see their numbers of customers and trade dramatically decrease because of the restrictions and are therefore going to be severely impacted.

“We are also need clarification as to where exactly the increased transmission rates are originating from. Is it households or business? This information is vital.

“Throwing our economy off a cliff will not help us to deal with Covid-19 and may well make a bad situation even worse.”

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