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BBC analysis reveals full extent of changes to Britain’s High Streets

6 Dec 2022

The BBC has published comprehensive analysis of Ordnance Survey data that reveals the full extent of changes to Britain's High Streets after two years of Covid lockdowns and trading... Read more…

Cycling UK names its 100 Women in Cycling 2022

30 Nov 2022

Cycling UK has published its annual 100 Women in Cycling 2022 list celebrating inspirational women in cycling.
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Cycling in London up 40% since the start of the pandemic, TfL reports

30 Nov 2022

Cycling in London has increased by 40% since the start of the pandemic, including a near-doubling of journeys by bike at the weekend, according to the newly published annual Travel in London... Read more…

UKCA mark deadline delayed - CE marks okay to use till end of 2024

29 Nov 2022

The Business Secretary, Grant Shapps, has announced that businesses are to be given a further two years to apply new product safety marking.
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New report claims UK lagging behind Europe in cycling infrastructure development

29 Nov 2022

A new survey of 2,000 British cyclists, which is part of a wider European report, claims that only just over a quarter of people in the UK think their local cycling infrastructure has improved... Read more…

Large number of bike shops help Cambridge be as named best city for independent retailers

24 Nov 2022

According to a new survey, Cambridge is the best in the country for independent shopping to support small businesses. The study found that many of the city's small businesses turned out to be... Read more…

Indie Retailers in York to get funding boost from City Council

22 Nov 2022

Groups of independent retailers in York are to receive a £25,000 funding boost to help with promotion during the Christmas trading period and to attract more customers in 2023.
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IRC backs ‘Colour Friday’ alternative to Black Friday sales

22 Nov 2022

The IRC has joined bira and other retail trade associations in backing the ‘Colour Friday’ alternative to this week’s Black Friday sales.
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Wandsworth indies comes together to boost local business during Christmas

21 Nov 2022

Shop owners in Earlsfield, Wandsworth are teaming up in the run-up to keep the high street busy in the run-up to Christmas. With the cost-of-living crisis affecting independent shops, the... Read more…

V12 are extending their opening hours to support retailers and customers during this festive period.

21 Nov 2022

During this festive period, V12 want to increase the support available to you and your customers. From this Friday their Customer Services, Underwriting and Validations teams will be operating... Read more…

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Mary Portas warns government to act now or see half of high street shops shut

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News

Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement this week, retail expert Mary Portas called on the Government to rethink business rates and VAT to help struggling retailers.

She said: “Put simply we could lose half of all shops. We need to look at the systems they are currently working under, because they are not fit for purpose for the future.

Row of Bikes

“So VAT, business rates, all of it needs to be looked at. We need to look at the bigger picture and how people want, and need to live, in the future – for the good of themselves and the planet.”

In 2011, she published a report stating the aim was to “put the heart back into the centre of our high streets, calling on the authorities to re-imagine them “as destinations for socialising, culture, health, wellbeing, creativity and learning.” But she says nothing has changed in the past decade and without more support thousands of small shops will be lost during the cost-of-living crisis.

“It’s no different now to 11 years ago when I brought out my report,” she says. “As for big business and governments, people don’t trust them, they’ve had enough. We want what’s local, what’s safe and what we can trust.”

She added: “What’s inspiring, but at the same time frustrating, is everything I wrote in my report more than a decade ago, about how important high streets are to our society and our daily lives, is the same.

“They’re more important than what is being sold to us. People, particularly post-Covid, realise how important they are to their wellbeing and how they live. Having thriving high streets we can walk or cycle to for our daily needs is vital to our future.”

She praised “incredible independents” which make up 90% of high street businesses but admitted frustration because “all we talk about are big businesses”.

She said: “Small businesses have been hugely successful, and we need them to succeed. When it comes to budgets and government spending, I believe it needs to be about prioritising. And I happen to think we should prioritise the wellbeing of society.”

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