AS businesses in Belfast and across the Province continue to suffer due to unrest over the Belfast City hall flag row, the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has urged protest organisers to heed calls from the First and Deputy First Ministers for an end to the protests and to support local traders in these difficult times.
In the final run up to Christmas, NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: “These protests have cost the local economy millions of pounds and have put immense pressure on already struggling local retail and hospitality sectors this Christmas. We would urge the protestors to listen to the joint call from the First and Deputy First Ministers to end the protests and to go into dialogue to resolve this situation.
“Our local economy cannot afford to have roads blocked and town and city centres disrupted in what is the most important trading time of the year.
“In this last week before Christmas, we urge the community to rally round and support local traders and not to be put off shopping in local town and city centres. Your local traders need you at this time and it is quite simply the case that if you don’t use them, you will lose them.”