The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has elected Lisburn Independent Retailer, Rowan Black as its new President at its AGM.
Mr Black succeeds Paul Stewart who has stepped down after serving 15 years in the role following the sale of his JC Stewart store in Magherafelt.
“I’m delighted to have been elected NIIRTA president and want to on behalf of our 1,600 members, pay a special tribute to the hard work and dedication of Paul Stewart,” said Mr Black.
“As President of NIIRTA over the past 15 years, Paul has made a huge contribution to our growth as a business organisation and indeed the entire independent retail sector in Northern Ireland.
“In recent years NIIRTA has nearly doubled its membership and become the authoritative voice of the independent retail and wholesale sector, setting the agenda for the future of our town centres.”
He said 2016 would be significant with publication of its alternative Programme for Government, setting out a policy agenda for the nine new Executive departments.
Wishing the organisation continued success Mr Stewart said: “It has advanced the policy agenda for independent retailers, with the establishment of the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme and the publication of the Town Centre First Retail Planning Policy among its many achievements”