Tara Buckley, director general, the Retail Grocery Dairy & Allied Trades Association (RGDATA) – Ireland’s longest-established retail representative association – has told Minister Simon Coveney that the cumulative cost of all of the government’s employment initiatives, including minimum/living wage increases, sick pay, pension auto-enrolment and the additional public holiday were the most significant concern for the local employers that RGDATA represents.
Speaking at the recent Enterprise Forum meeting, chaired by the Minister, Buckley asked for supports for local SME employers to manage the introduction of all of these additional measures in 2024.
According to Enterprise.gov.ie, the Enterprise Forum was established in 2017, initially dealing with impacts on enterprise arising from Brexit, and, more recently, the impacts of Covid-19.
The purpose of the forum now is to discuss enterprise policy implications arising from emerging national and international challenges, with a particular focus on capturing the views, concerns and suggestions of the enterprise sector.
RGDATA’s members are the owners of over 3,500 independent, family-owned grocery shops, convenience stores, forecourt stores and supermarkets throughout Ireland.
RGDATA noted that its key focus is representing the interests of independent, family-owned shops to the government, media, regulators and policymakers by:
- representation and campaigning, to ensure that the voice of family-owned grocery/convenience stores is heard and acted upon by policymakers;
- monitoring policy development and legislation at local and EU levels;
- providing HR and business advice and support to members via a helpline and dedicated website;
- actively participating in planning policy and activity, to ensure vibrant town centres and shops, to which people can walk; and
- carrying out regular member research and surveys, to support its campaigns.