Public urged to get behind Independents Day

Sean Sheehan, Bank of Ireland, Glyn Roberts, NIIRTA, Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard, Nigel Maxwell, NIIRA chairman and Translink CEO Chris Conway
Sean Sheehan, Bank of Ireland, Glyn Roberts, NIIRTA, Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard, Nigel Maxwell, NIIRA chairman and Translink CEO Chris Conway

Northern Ireland consumers are being urged once again to support their local retailers as Independednts Day comes around onJuly 4.

Organised by the retail lobby group NIIRTA, the campaign is designed to celebrate the contribution made by independent traders to local communities and to the local economy. Consumers are being urged to make a special effort on 4th July to support these invaluable local businesses.

Launching the event at Stormont, Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard said: “This is a worthy initiative by NIIRTA to underline the importance of independent businesses to our economy. We need to improve transport connections for people, goods and services and to increase use of public transport.

“Local bus and train services make it easy for people to access town and city centres. I am delighted Translink has agreed to put together a package of discounts for Ulsterbus town services and Metro services on 4 July to support this initiative.

“There is strong independent evidence around the positive economic impact of public transport on the retail and hospitality sectors and in the appeal of an area for local shoppers and tourists

For the first time this year July, Translink will be providing shoppers with a £2 return ticket after 9.30am for all Ulsterbus town services and Metro in Belfast.

Also attending the launch event, Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir praised the “vibrant and dynamic independent retail sector” that already existed in the province.

“I will do what I can to help support the innovative, can-do attitude that is so evident among our retailers.

“I would encourage everyone to support their local businesses on Independents’ day and celebrate the contribution they make to our communities, as well as the wider economy.”

NIIRTA CEO Glyn Roberts said: “Independents’ Day 2016 will be bigger and better than ever before. We are very pleased to have the generous support of Bank of Ireland UK for this years campaign.

“Shoppers have a real opportunity to do their bit and support their local shops on 4th July and throughout the summer. Independent retailers offer quality, choice and something different to the multiple retailers”

“Independents’ Day is all about celebrating the jobs, investment and services our local traders provide for us all and is also a beacon to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs, which is so vital to the future of our local economy.