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ACS publish Rural Shop Report 2021

23 Feb 2021

The report provides key insights into the social and economic contributions of the rural shop sector, including profiles of the entrepreneurs that run rural shops, the investments they make... Read more…

Leading industry bodies urge Government to abolish bid to turn city centres into homes from home

18 Feb 2021

Leading industry bodies, including IRC members, have warned the Secretary of State that this notion puts the future of our town centres at serious risk
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Updated guidance on Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)

18 Feb 2021

From 1 June 2021 any UK businesses accepting online card payments must be ready to support SCA
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Scotland announces business rates holiday extension until April 2022

17 Feb 2021

The Scottish Government Finance Secretary plans to extend 100% business rates relief for all retailers to cover all of 2021/22
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APPGCW announce virtual meeting to discuss Planning White Paper and its impact on active travel

16 Feb 2021

All ACT members are invited to join the webinars, please contact us if you'd like to attend

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Join us in urging MPs to extend business rates holiday

10 Feb 2021

Use this template to email your MP to help independent retailers survive the pandemic by delaying the return of business rates.
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Firms call for Government to reform business rates or risk a high street collapse

10 Feb 2021

Letter to Rishi Sunak signed by Tesco, B&Q, Waterstones, and members of the IRC, calls for the business rates system to be reformed to make it fairer for physical stores

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ACT meeting with business ministers: send us your questions

10 Feb 2021

Whether you'd like to ask about business rates, the rent moratorium, or Government support for IBDs during the pandemic, we want to hear it.
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Single Use Carrier Bags Charges to potentially be increased from April

9 Feb 2021

Legislation has been laid to increase the minimum amount that retailers must charge for a single use carrier bag from 5p to 10p from 30th April 2021

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Retailers Plea to Prime Minister to Legislate Against Shopworker Abuse

5 Feb 2021

Over 65 retail organisations, including many members of the IRC, have written to the Prime Minister raising concerns of increasing instances of violence and abuse against shopworkers
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Firms call for Government to reform business rates or risk a high street collapse

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News, Political News

The leaders of household names including Tesco, B&Q and Waterstones have warned the chancellor that the business rates burden on shops is putting thousands of high street jobs at risk, and called for online retailers to pay their "fair share" of tax.

In a letter to Rishi Sunak before next month's budget, the chief executives of 18 retail and property organisations, representing more than a million employees and tens of thousands of shops, say failing to overhaul the commercial equivalent of council tax will hamper the ability of high streets and town centres to recover from the pandemic.

The letter, which is also signed by the bosses of Asda and Morrisons as well as members of the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC), says the current system is "not sustainable in the long term and without reform, shops at the heart of communities will be at risk".

The letter makes the following specific recommendations:

  1. Reducing the business rates multiplier: The multiplier has risen from 35% in 1990 to more than 50% today. It should be significantly reduced, focusing on a level closer to the original rate of around 35% of the market rent. This would make the UK more competitive and show the Government is backing British shops.
  2. Level the playing field on tax: Currently online retailers pay a lower proportion of tax per sale than bricks and mortar retailers. We urge the Government to rebalance the tax base to ensure online and bricks and mortar retailers pay a similar proportion of tax and we welcome the consideration of viable options in the Government's ‘fundamental' review.

Ther letter urges Sunak "to use the upcoming budget to commit to fundamental reform of business rates focused on reducing the burden on retailers and levelling the playing field between bricks and mortar and online businesses". 

The letter comes as the Treasury explores options for an online sales tax in response to the explosion in internet shopping since the pandemic to help stem the collapse of the high street.

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