Mr Durkan raised the need for financial support for retailers with Junior Minister Declan Kearney, at their weekly engagement with the executive on the situation in the North West.
Said the Foyle MLA: “Our local high streets at the minute are a sorry sight, they have turned into a ghost town overnight.
“While I appreciate that many people are doing their utmost to limit the spread of the virus, the substantial decline in footfall has left many retailers in dire straits.
“I heard from one business owner last week, whose earnings for that week totalled £40.
“How is that financially viable for anyone?
“Their incomes, during what would usually be a lucrative time of the year particularly in Derry, have been utterly decimated.
“On Friday I raised with Declan Kearney, the evident need for the inclusion of the Retail Sector in the upcoming financial support schemes.
“Despite being allowed to remain open, these businesses have been detrimentally impacted by the imposed restrictions.
“Retailers feel they have been completely left in the lurch, many of whom will sadly struggle to recover from this.”
Mr Durkan added: “Focus in recent years has been on the need to create a local, vibrant economy by investing in town and city centre retailers.
“We must ensure those retailers are protected now, to guarantee there is a viable local economy to return to and to build on those promises, at the end of this crisis.”Tags: