Rates relief scheme is halted due to impasse at Stormont
A rates scheme that gave businesses a 50% cut while properties were empty has been effectively suspended due to the Assembly's collapse.
The scheme gave business owners 50% rates discount if they opened a new business in premises which had been vacant for more than a year.
This will result in the doubling of rates bills for many new start businesses, according to Retail NI.
"It is extremely disappointing that the empty premises rate relief scheme has been effectively suspended as a result of the Assembly being in limbo," Glyn Roberts, Retail NI chief executive, said.
"The empty premises rate relief scheme had helped establish 500 new businesses over the past few years.
"Retail NI successfully lobbied for this scheme as a measure to address the serious problem of local shop vacancies."