Petrol retailers stay open as essential service but call for rate relief as business drops by 70%

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Irish Petrol Retailers Association

The trade body representing the forecourt sector, the Irish Petrol Retailers Association (IPRA) is asking Government for forecourts to be included in any Council plan for rate relief.

David Blevings, spokesperson for the IPRA said: “Retail sites have been designated an
essential service in the recent list of essential service providers published by Government.
While our members are happy to serve the emergency services, HGV drivers, Defence Forces, and essential County Council workers their turnover has reduced by c.70%. This is due to the obvious reduction in traffic volumes as people stay at home and consumers’ switch to buying only essential items.”

“Local forecourts will be the only shop in many Irish villages open for many customers and while our Members are pleased to remain open, they cannot be expected to pay rates at a time when their income has been drastically reduced. Of the 1,000 retail forecourt locations in the Republic, eighty percent are owned and operated by sole traders and family businesses.”

“Without rate relief at this critical time, many of these businesses will not survive and this will lead to closures. Any closures during this crisis will reduce fuel supply availability to front line workers and services and cripple rural Ireland. We have asked the Ministers to swiftly introduce a local authority rates relief package and to ensure the Irish forecourt sector is included in any plan to protect jobs and family businesses in rural Ireland”, added David.

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