Retail Ireland has said the upcoming local elections offer an important opportunity to address the high level of vacant units on streets in Ireland's towns and cities. The retail representative group urged candidates to remember that the retail industry is the biggest employer in the country and is vital to the success of local economies. This needs to be reflected in the decisions and priorities of local government.
Retail Ireland Director Stephen Lynam said: "Research from CBRE shows that while retail activity has picked up a little, vacancy rates in key towns and cities remain high. For instance, the vacancy rate on Patrick St in Cork is up from 13% to 14.3%, while Henry St in Dublin has a vacancy rate of 12.8%, up from 4.3%.”
Lynam said that while there have been improvements, there are still problems for retailers. “A key problem is the high level of local authority charges, such as commercial rates. It is vital that both voters and candidates in Friday's elections remember that a recovery in the retail sector will reduce vacancy rates, increase the rates base and ultimately provide extra funding for local authority services.”
Lynam said that reducing rates for retailers and even offering rates holidays for retailers that take on a vacant unit could help relieve the strain.
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson