The Queensland Retailers Traders and Shopkeepers Association (QRTSA), also known as the United Retail Federation, has applied to the Queensland Supreme Court to wind up business “on the grounds of insolvency”.

In an email that was sent out to its members on April 17, obtained by RetailBiz, QRTSA wrote that its “legal advisers, the remaining members of the insolvency…have resigned their positions effective 15 April 2013”.

This collapse has left many small independents retailers isolated. As a result, the National Retail Association has stepped in offering help to those members.

Speaking to RetailBiz, NRA chief executive revor Evans said the association would assist small, independent QRTSA members who have been left with no support.

"If someone paid their membership for 2013 and they are small and independent then we will honour their membership. In other cirumstances, all other larger companies, they're not as pressured and are not left so much in the lurch because they're usually chains and therefore have more reosurces, but we will so offer them heavy discounts on membership with NRA," he said.

Evans said the NRA would attempt to contact members of the former QRTSA in order to extend the offer to them. However, he urged small, independent businesses with valid QRTSA membership to make contact with the NRA on 1800 RETAIL (738 245) to take up the offer.

“As a Queensland-based national organisation, we believe we have a responsibility to assist small Queensland retailers who have been left in the lurch. Due to our large size and strength of membership, our financial position is robust, and we are in a position to support our retail industry colleagues through this challenging period,” he said.

“We are doing this because we believe very firmly in the need for unity and strength across the retail sector, particularly at a time when trading conditions have been suppressed and retailers have been doing it tough for an extended period.”