NFRN Public Affairs


The NFRN Public Affairs department seeks to raise the profile of independent retailers’ concerns among political representatives and civil servants.


What is Public Affairs?

Public Affairs aims to influence policy makers and stand up against legislation which may have a negative impact on independent retailers’ businesses, in a similar way as Public Relations aims to influence what is reported in the media. The NFRN Public Affairs department seeks to raise the profile of independent retailers concerns among political representatives and civil servants within the Houses of Parliament, Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly, and European Union, as well as Local Councils.

What issues are covered?

  • News & Magazines Sector – including wholesaler duopoly issues
  • Retail Crime and the illicit trade market
  • Town and City Planning
  • Business Rates and the cost of running your business
  • Financial support for SMEs and mico businesses
  • Supermarket competition issues
  • Age restricted product sales
  • Deposit Return Schemes
  • Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol

How does the NFRN engage policy makers?

  1. Enabling the membership to be politically active – MPs are elected to represent the interests of their constituents and therefore prioritise issues brought to their attention by their electorate. The Public Affairs department identifies and produces material for members to communicate their concerns effectively with their MPs.
  2. Raising awareness of the NFRN brand among decision makers – The NFRN has an annual engagement strategy that includes attending party conferences; holding parliamentary events (such as the annual manifesto launch); engagement with All Party Parliamentary Groups, Committees and forums; and tabling Parliamentary questions and political debates.
  3. Pre and post legislation consultation with Ministers – NFRN staff and officials meet and consult with Ministers around legislation that impacts the independent retail sector. Pre-meetings aim to formulate regulations in their early stages and post-meetings aim to rectify any issues members are experiencing with regulations that are already in existence.
  4. Media commentary and monitoring – The NFRN monitors big events in the political diary such as the Budget and prepares media responses to advocate the views of the independent retail sector. Commenting on legislation in the media also puts added pressure on MP’s to be aware that they will be held accountable on behalf of our membership for the decisions that they take.
  5. Letter writing campaigns and responding to consultations – The government (and its devolved assemblies and parliaments) holds consultations on proposed legislation. The NFRN prioritises the most pertinent issues impacting our membership and prepares an official NFRN response as well as a version adapted for the use of members to send on.

Independent Retail Report 2018

To highlight the issues affecting independent retailers, former NFRN member Martin Vickers MP hosted a parliamentary reception in the House of Commons on 20 February to support the launch of our 2018 Independent Retail Report. Read more

Help and assistance

If you need any help in contacting your MP or political representatives, or have any questions relating to the political aspects of any campaign, please do not hesitate to contact the public affairs team at

You can also follow Adrian Roper, NFRN Head of Public Affairs & Communications, on Twitter at @Adrian_NFRN

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