Action on parking is needed now to save our city centre retailers
Chambers Ireland has called on the Government to implement a range of measures to support job creation and job retention in the retail sector.
"With retailers forming the heart of our town centres across the country, the Government must do everything it can to assist this sector and restore life to the country's high streets," said Chambers Ireland chief executive Ian Talbot (right).
Chambers Ireland represents business groups across the country. It wants two-hour free parking windows introduced in town centres to encourage people to shop in town instead of at out-of-town retail parks.
"A key issue facing retailers in town centres is competition from out-of-town shopping centres and the free parking they provide," said Mr Talbot. "The introduction of a 'parking window' where the first two hours are free would be of significant benefit to retailers in town centres."
Chambers Ireland has made a presentation to the inter-departmental group on retail in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
It has also called for the introduction of a rates reduction for companies located within town and city centres.
"Providing support for small businesses through these measures can be the difference between these businesses remaining viable and ceasing to trade," said Mr Talbot. The retail sector has seen the worst rate of job losses of any industry other than construction since 2008.