IKEA opens, and this happens. It’s anecdotal, but is it indicative? The Victoria Centre opens in May, are there detrimental effects associated with this?
What will the plus/minus balance be between jobs created in big name High Street and out-of-town retailers, as compared to jobs lost within small, independent, indigenous retailers?
Small, independent retailers make a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the character of the high streets in our towns and cities. They are also vital to economies throughout the country as money spent locally is then recycled in other local services.
Getting the wrong type of investment is not without consequence. If big multiples keep coming we may also be reducing the size of our small business sector. And at a time when capital gains tax changes are persuading business owners that it’s better to sell before April than to operate after it, we can’t be entirely insensitive to the plight of the small business community (ie. 98% of all businesses in NI).
So what’s a good way to go? Paragraphs 63 to 65 look good. How do you finance it? The US/NI investment conference may provide options. But while we’re looking West, Gordon Brown is looking east. Who was on the delegation to China? Anyone from Northern Ireland? If not, why not? If so, how did they get on? Salient questions, surely. Any answers?
PS… Read this today. Depressed. Then read this this. Impressed. Forward planning is not one-dimensional. Energy is being put into trawling alternative markets. This is precisley the type of return we need. Staff at Bobballs are becoming ever more impressed with our DETI Minister.