Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association  chief executive Glyn Roberts said that while the businesses community had been encouraged by the Stormont House Agreement  it wanted to see it implemented and progress made on the final budget. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Retailers in the North enjoyed strong sales over the Christmas period according to initial feedback but local property charges will be a key issue (...)

Ian Paisley jnr. Photograp:  Paul Faith/PA Wire

The Gallahers cigarette factory in Ballymena is set to close with the loss of nearly 1,000 jobs after its parent company Japan Tobacco International ((...)

Talks chaired by Dr Richard Haass (above) and Harvard professor Meghan O’Sullivan are to continue over the weekend. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers has appointed a new Parades Commission as the Haass talks enter a crucial stage in pursuit of agreement on parades(...)

Supported by US foreign affairs expert Dr Meghan O’Sullivan (right), Dr Richard Haass (left) is attempting to find consensus on the troublesome issues in Northern Ireland of flags and emblems
, parades
 and dealing with the legacy of the past. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Sectarian flashpoints where much of Northern Ireland’s violence has happened need more investment, traders have said.Rioting in Belfast following the (...)

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trades Association said  nearly two-thirds of businesses which applied for bank credit were successful despite a difficult trading climate over the past year. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The North’s largest companies have seen their combined turnover rise but have suffered a small slip in profitability.A survey carried out by credit ch(...)

Police clash with loyalist protestors in Belfast city centre as they attempt to block part of the route of the Anti-Internment League parade last Friday: Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Even though Belfast has struggled under the twin threats of economic recession and community tension, a great deal of good work continues at City Hall(...)