Thousands of jobs under threat as high costs continue to crucify small retailers.
Small business unable to avail of Examinership due to excessive professional costs.
Retail Strategy Group required to advise Government.
ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association has repeated its demand for the Government to address the risks to the retail sector and to implement immediate policies to tackle the cost base to secure the 250,000 jobs in the industry. As today’s CSO figures confirm, there is a long way to go for consumers after another harsh budget, exacerbated by the reality of the property tax immediately after Christmas.
According to ISME Chief Executive, Mark Fielding, “Today’s figures, confirm, once again, the disastrous situation in which the majority of small and medium retailers find themselves. With sales values and volumes continuing to be depressed, the sector that employs over 250,000 and is pivotal to the survival of local economies must be saved. Unfortunately, the Government seems to be more concerned with spin than addressing the immediate concerns of real businesses on the ground”.
“A recovery in the domestic sector is paramount to the survival of thousands of retailers throughout the Country. It is imperative therefore that the Government addresses the high costs to retailers, including the continuing scourge of upward only rents, which ‘examinership lite’ will not solve because of excessive professional costs, despite the cheerleading from larger retail organisations, which it will suit.”
“It is incredible that despite the largest drop in consumer spending ever, this Government has been marked absent when it comes to solutions. The preponderance of foreign-owned multiples and department stores, which have the resources to survive the recession, means that the only pressure on Government is from the SME sector, which is being ignored. What is required is a Retail Strategy Group to advise on a clear road map, which will provide confidence to both consumers and small business, allowing for increased spending and investment,” concluded Fielding.