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We can't ignore shops on city's arterial routes

Published 28/01/2013

Belfast is a super city; reports by international travel organisations confirm this through rigorous evaluation.

Highlighting and supporting Belfast's shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in today's difficult circumstances is welcome. I am supportive of any initiative that will help secure the prosperity of the city and develop the city for generations to come.

However, those shops that trade on the arterial routes, east Belfast in particular, are finding business life exceedingly difficult.

Most of them are sole-traders or small family businesses. Reduced Saturday footfall, early closing and no night-time trade makes business life hard for them.

Steps taken to help the major city-centre businesses should also support those who have suffered and are suffering on the arterial routes.

ROBIN NEWTON (DUP)

MLA for East Belfast

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