Towns in Northern Ireland should have designated enterprise zones to develop independent retail in the 21st century, it has been announced.
Today sees the launch of the Independence Day Pledge, with the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) calling for a pro-business 'Programme for Government' to be introduced.
Over 100 MLAs and business owners attended a reception at Stormont in a bid by NIIRTA to gain support for people to only shop with local traders on July 4.
Glyn Roberts, NIIRTA chief executive, called on the Stormont Executive to produce a multi-department Small Business Act to support these efforts.
"We want to see a new partnership between multiple and independent retailers to invest in our town centres and above all build up our private sector toward a sustainable economic recovery," Mr Roberts said.