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NI Baby Carrier Company Celebrating A Decade Of Success

Love To Be Natural is celebrating 10-years as the UK and Ireland’s longest running baby carrying store, decade of keeping babies close to their parents every day.

Baby carriers enable mums and dads to carry their child in a variety of ways, at home or when out and about – and Love To Be Natural leads the way with a love and passion for what they do.

Founded by mum-of-four, Beth Beaney, the Northern Ireland company currently employs four people, with plans to double that number in coming years.

Beth carried all of her children in sling-type carriers, and believes that they support what every parent wants.

“We are passionate advocates of using baby carriers, and improving parent & baby relationships through bonding and attachment,” she said.

“Love To Be Natural is the largest specialist baby carrier retailer in the UK and Ireland. We carry a hand-selected, tried and tested range of premium, best-in-class baby carriers and wooden toys.

“Our aim is help new parents find the best baby carrier that works for them and their children by providing a specialist one-to-one service.”

Beth’s husband, Colin, works for Love To Be Natural and this emphasises the family basis for the company.

Both are fully accredited with industry standard training in baby carrying and Beth leads the consultancy side of the business helping parents understanding the benefits of baby carriers, and how to chose the best for them and their child.

However, what sets Love To Be Natural apart is their attitude.

“Our expertise, experience, a genuine love and passion for what we do, and an appreciation for the positive effect using slings and carriers has on babies and families as a whole is what creates our success and supports parental choices,” said Beth.

What also is unique with the company is their ethical commitment.

“We have a very natural and organic approach to the business,” explained Beth. “For example it is become almost fashionable now to claim to be ‘plastic free’ but we’ve been plastic free for 10 yrs. We’re a Living Wage Employer too.”

Nominated for two upcoming business awards Beth and the Love To Be Natural Team are not resting on their laurels.

“We plan Opening more stores, to provide a one-to-one specialist service to more parents,” she said. “And we will also be rolling out our ‘Carrying Is Love’ Initiative, to back parents wanting to find out more about baby carrying, to a wider geographical area.”

With a decade of success Beth reflected on what they have achieved so far.

“The true highlight is knowing that we’ve helped thousands of families,” she said. “It’s seeing the smiles on their faces when their baby relaxes in a sling for the first time, seeing the photos, being part of their parenting journey.”

With £1m in revenue after their first five years, Love To Be Natural, has tapped into a growing desire from parents to return to the bonding and affection that can only be accomplished with their baby and body contact.

Yet all comes from Beth and Colin’s desire to be a family.

“We realised the benefit of using baby carriers with our own child (and then children) and the advantages of attachment parenting,” Beth said. “We had a desire to build a life that allowed us to be with our children and work from home and turned that into a reality.

“We will continue to retail specialist baby carriers and offering an expert one-to-one service. None of our competitors can do this.”

Peace, Love and Babywearing – a motto for a real 21st century success story.

Find out more about Love To Be Natural at: lovetobenatural.co.uk

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Business

Murphy Announces Business Rates Revaluation

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has today announced a revaluation of all 74,750 non-domestic properties, delivering on his commitment for more frequent revaluations here.

Known as ‘Reval2023’, this process will result in a new non-domestic Valuation List being used to calculate business rate bills from April 2023.

Announcing the revaluation, Minister Murphy said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the economy resulting in changes between business sectors and this will feed through to changes to the rental values of many properties.

“Although the last revaluation was just over a year ago in 2020, I have asked Land & Property Services to bring forward another revaluation in the shortest possible time.

“Reval2023 will maintain fairness and ensure businesses are paying rates which take account of the impact of the pandemic.”

Commenting on support provided to businesses, Minister Murphy added: “Since April 2020, I have provided over £500 million of additional business rates support, with many businesses paying no rates at all over two years. The Executive has also provided significant financial support to businesses in the form of grants.

“As we look ahead to economic recovery and given the large scale of a revaluation it is important this work gets underway now.”

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic premises including shops, offices, warehouses, factories, hotels and pubs as well as utilities such as gas, water, electricity and wind farms.

Land & Property Services will begin collecting property information from business ratepayers later this year. This important information will form a database of new rental values as at 1 October 2021, instead of the current 2018 values, and will be used in assessing new rateable values for every property.

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Town and City Centre Investment Helping Thousands of Businesses in Their Recovery

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey is pictured with Bryan Graham of Graham’s of Enniskillen who availed of Covid-19 Revitalise funding for his business to purchase new sanitizing stations and protective screens.

A £19.3million funding programme to support town and city centres recover from the impact of Covid-19 has helped thousands of businesses across councils, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has said. 

Launched in August 2020, initial funding for the Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme was for measures such as shop frontage and awnings/canopies; outdoor furniture; heaters and queueing systems. More recently the funding support longer term initiatives such as the creation of cycle paths and pedestrian walkways to encourage car-free shopping, small environmental improvements and the use of open space and vacant premises to provide safe facilities.

Total funding for the scheme was made up of £12million from the Department for Communities, £5million from the Department for Infrastructure and £2.3million from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

Speaking after visiting business in Enniskillen who availed of the funding Minister Hargey said: “The Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme is an excellent example of collaborative working and was created to help and support our urban and rural businesses deal with the impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic. In total the funding has supported over 3,000 businesses across the north which has helped them to reopen safely. The funding has also been used to encourage people back into our towns and city centres to spend time, to support our local businesses and ultimately to help keep our town and city centres alive and prosperous.

“It has delivered funding of £1.29million to Fermanagh & Omagh District Council to support a range of projects including grants to support businesses across the entire Council area as they prepared a pathway out of lockdown by assisting them to provide a safer shopping experience for all their customers. I was pleased to see at first hand today how some of this support has been received by businesses in Enniskillen.”

Cllr. Chris McCaffrey (Vice Chairperson) Fermanagh & Omagh District Council added: “Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to working in partnership to improve the lives of all the people of the district and this approach has delivered tangible benefits making the district an attractive place to live, work and visit.    

The Council has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the Department for Communities over a number of years and it is a partnership we look forward to continuing to develop into the future for the benefit of our businesses and the wider community.   

The £1.2million funding through the Covid-19 Business Recovery and Revitalisation Grant Aid Scheme has been used to support businesses to respond to the impacts of the Covid-19 health pandemic, to encourage people to support local to aid economic recovery and to deliver schemes which will promote and revitalise our town centres.  

The Council will continue to work with the Department for Communities and other partners to provide assistance to local businesses and aid the recovery of the district into the future.”

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