Dublin - Independent Retail Europe’s annual conference was co-hosted this year with Irish member association RGDATA (Retail Grocery Dairy & Allied Trades Association). This year’s conference focussed on access to EU funding for the sector.
There are 23 groups and associations in Independent Retail Europe with a combined retail and wholesale turnover of 1 trillion Euros and more than 555,000 sales outlets. The conference showcased the financing possible for larger scale headquarters related projects such as building distribution centres to smaller scale shop based projects such as for waste disposal and energy installations. The event provided practical information on what funding is available, how to access it and the identification of a number of programmes that could be of interest. The conference also helped create awareness of the particular business structures of groups of independent retailers and their needs as regards funding. Speakers from the European Commission (EASME and DG Regio) as well as the European Investment Bank and the private sector (Dr. Brüning Engineering UG) each discussed the opportunities as well as experiences in this area.
Independent Retail Europe Director General Else Groen said: “Access to adequate levels of finance can be difficult for groups of independent retailers and their member retailers. We wanted to demonstrate that there are ways for our members to meet their financing needs for a variety of different projects from EU sources. This event also showed the great potential that groups of independent retailers have to multiply the effects of EU financing for the benefit of all the independent retailers in their networks.”
RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley said: “RGDATA is delighted to host this year’s Independent Retail Europe Annual Conference and bring specialists on EU funding together with RGDATA members and other independent retailers from across Europe to Dublin. The retail sector rarely gets access to funding programmes so the focus of the conference is very welcome. RGDATA will be encouraging the 3,500 independent retailers that we represent to take advantage of the EU funding opportunities highlighted at the conference.”
Note to editor: The conference took place on the 24 November 2016 at the “Clontarf Castle” Hotel in Dublin. Speakers included Patrick O’Riordan from the European Commission Representation in Ireland, who opened the conference. Dr Bernd Reichert (Head of Unit Horizon 2020 and SMEs, European Commission Executive Agency for SMEs/EASME) explained the role of the EASME, grants available to SMEs, how to apply and examples of projects for retailers. Attila Szabó (European Investment Bank) and Aurelio Politano (Senior Project Adviser, LIFE & CIP Eco-Innovation Unit EASME) reported about funding programme LIFE and others in the environment and energy sector.Julia Wolf from Dr. Brüning Engineering UG presented the RUN project, a real life experience of financing under an EU scheme. Wolfgang Streitenberger from the European Commission (DG REGIO) gave insides on financial instruments available in the field of regional development.
For questions or further information, please contact:
Tel. : +353 01 2887584
Independent Retail Europe
Elisabeth von Reitzenstein
Adviser Public Affairs
Tel. : + 32 2 739 60 91
The Retail Grocery Dairy & Allied Trades Association - RGDATA - is the representative association for the owners of over 3,500 independent family owned grocery shops, convenience stores, forecourt stores and supermarkets in Ireland. RGDATA is the longest established trade association representing the independent grocery sector for over 70 years.
Independent Retail Europe
Independent Retail Europe is the European association that acts as an umbrella organisation for all groups of independent retailers in the food and non-food sectors. Our members are groups of independent retailers, associations representing groups of independent retailers and wider service organisations built to support independent retailers. Independent Retail Europe represents over 364,000 independent retailers (with a combined retail turnover of more than 815 billion euros and more than 571,000 points of sale), and 23 groups and associations of groups in Europe (employing over 5.88 million people and generating a combined wholesale turnover of more than 315 billion euros). www.independentretaileurope.eu