RGDATA will make a presentation to TD’s and Senators in Leinster House on October 5 2016.
A delegation of shop owners from around the country led by Tara Buckley, Director General RGDATA will present on the True Value of Local Shops report by economist Jim Power and highlight key policy issues of concern to community retailers. RGDATA will raise the following issues:
1. Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015
The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 has created significant concern and among local independent shop owners who believe that the proposal for structural separation in mixed trading shops is an unfair and unnecessary impostition on their businesses that will have a significant impact on their costs and on health and safety in their stores.
RGDATA will highlight how independent stores are responsible retailers of alcohol as the owner of the shop is personally and directly involved in the operation and management of the store, is a stakeholder in the local community and has a strong desire to maintain a responsible attitude to the sale of alcohol
RGDATA believes that many of the policy objectives underpinning the Bill can be achieved without creating the unintended consequences which the current measure will produce.
2. Insurance costs for shops
RGDATA will also reveal the results of our Shop Insurance Survey 2016 which highlights significant issues for independent retailers regarding unsustainable increases in insurance premiums and significant and frustrating practices relating to claims payouts.
Retailers have seen their insurance costs increase significantly in the last few years. A persistent complaint from retailers is that insurance companies are too eager to settle claims and do not vigorously resist claims that are spurious or bogus.
RGDATA will be proposing changes to policy and regulation to tackle this issue once and for all.
3. Town Centre Revitalisation/Rural Regeneration
RGDATA will also highlight the vital role that independent grocery/convenience stores and supermarkets play in towns, villages and communities throughout Ireland. We will highlight the need for a National Programme of Town Centre Health Checks and a National Town Centre Management Strategy.
RGDATA will highlight the need for policies that encourage local Irish SMEs; support entrepreneurship and vibrant town centres and encourage people to live in and set up businesses in town centres. New urban regeneration tax schemes will be required to kick-start investment in some towns and villages.
RGDATA and the Heritage Council have devised a Town Centre Health Check pilot strategy to assist in the development of Town Plans. The first Town Centre Health Check Pilot Workshop takes place on 29 September in Naas and representatives from ten towns will be participating.
“This is an important opportunity for independent retailers to highlight the issues of concern to them to our policymakers. RGDATA strives to play an active and positive role in the development of strategic policies to underpin vibrant town centres, strong local family businesses and access to Irish food products and services in locally owned Irish shops. After all our research shows that buying Irish in an Irish locally owned store is worth four times more to the local economy. We look forward to presenting and highlighting these key issues for Irish community retailers. I hope that they will take on board the significant concerns that are impacting on local shops and local jobs. It is important that decisive actions are taken by the TD’s and Senators to address these key concerns,” said Tara Buckley, Director General RGDATA.
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