Many retailers in Ireland are facing significant challenges in sustaining their businesses despite the economic recovery, Retail Excellence has said in its election manifesto.
The business support organisation said there continues to be a two-speed economy, with retailers outside the main urban areas of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and Galway struggling despite unemployment figures at an all-time low and economic growth remaining strong.
They said the next Government needs to address a range of issues impacting the country’s 45,000 retail businesses including addressing the VAT differential between Ireland and the UK, insurance and general business costs, competitiveness, talent acquisition and retention, housing availability, non-tax compliant cheap imports, and the growth of online spending.
Separately, business group Ibec is the third organisation to demand improved infrastructure development for the Cork region.
Ibec Cork regional president Sean Moran said they are hearing a consistent message from businesses across Cork who see investment in public infrastructure and services as key to remaining competitive as well as for easing the problems evident in housing, education, transport, and health.
“Cork is growing at pace and needs critical infrastructure to support that growth and enhance regional connectivity and competitiveness, which are vital to a thriving regional economy,” he said.
“The lack of quality infrastructure is having a direct effect on expansion plans, business productivity, the quality of life of employees and the ability of companies to attract and retain talent.”
Ibec said it wants an overhaul of the regime for planning consents and appeals, saying it is essential to ensure fewer projects get bogged down in lengthy delays.
“Ambitious growth targets were identified for Cork in Project Ireland 2040. However, unless we deliver the infrastructure, the region will continue to develop at a slower pace,” Mr Moran said.
Source: Business News