body representing the forecourt sector, the Irish Petrol Retailers Association
(IPRA) has today written to Ministers John Paul Phelan and Eoghan Murphy asking
for forecourts to be included in any Council plan for rate relief.
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.
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.
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.