Retail NI has called upon the Chancellor to extend furlough following release of the latest HMRC figures, showing a marked increase to 94,000 workers using the scheme.
“This increase in the furlough scheme illustrates just how much the lockdown is costing our local economy,” said Glyn Roberts, chief executive, Retail NI. “On a near daily basis, we hear from members that their business will not survive this pandemic.
“The Chancellor must extend the furlough scheme beyond April if these businesses are to stand any chance of survival.
“The Executive needs to do more and practical measures such as restoring click and collect for small traders and a support package for independent food retailers would go some way in reducing further job losses and business failures.”