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Retail industry key recruiter of people from under-utilised sections of society

15 May 2024

A new report released on behalf of the Retail Sector Council has outlined the work that the industry is doing to create more career opportunities for people that would otherwise be... Read more…

Teacher and ice-cream store manager move from Australia to take over Halifax indie bookshop.

14 May 2024

A family of booklovers are moving from Australia to become the new owners of an independent bookshop in Halifax.
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Global Payments Report says consumer choice not just influencing but dictating the future of commerce.

14 May 2024

Worldpay’s 2024 Global Payments Report has revealed a transformative shift where consumer choice is not just influencing but dictating the future of commerce.
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Competition and Markets Authority says grocers need to prioritise accurate pricing.

13 May 2024

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has called on grocers to prioritise accurate pricing following a review of the way in-store prices are displayed.
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Leicester indie retailers defend ‘special’ city centre after M&S announces closure.

13 May 2024

Independent businesses in Leicester have praised the “uniqueness” of the city and its "vibrant" atmosphere after the news that M&S was set to close drew a... Read more…

Independent shops better than big retailers at surviving COVID in the UK

1 May 2024

Small shops have been more "agile" at fighting COVID sale slumps than chain stores, according to a new report.
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Bike shops and cyclists alike urged to gear up to take advantage of Local Bike Shop Day 2024

30 Apr 2024

The UK’s estimated 7.6 million cyclists are being urged to get on their bikes on Saturday May 4th and head down to their local independent bike shop, as many prepare special activities to... Read more…

Peterborough store selling solely local products looks to expand.

29 Apr 2024

A Peterborough store stocking products solely from local entrepreneurs said it is bucking the High Street trend and looking to expand due to its success.
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BIRA launches ‘High Street Matters’ podcast for independent retailers

29 Apr 2024

BIRA is giving independent businesses across the UK a powerful new resource with the launch of its “High Street Matters” podcast.
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Tesco accused of undercutting local shops via its wholesale business.

29 Apr 2024

The Guardian has reported independent shopkeepers saying prices they pay at Tesco’s cash-and-carry arm Booker are often higher than in Tesco’s stores.
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Bira sets out expectations for this month’s Budget.

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News

The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA), which works with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, has outlined its expectations from the government to create a positive impact for the high street after such a difficult year ahead of the Budget on November 27th.

Jeremy Hunt

Andrew Goodacre, CEO of Bira, said: “With the November budget approaching, we are eager to express our expectations and hopes for the forthcoming policies that will significantly impact the retail sector.

“We believe that the proposed measures can pave the way for a robust and sustainable economic recovery, benefiting both businesses and consumers alike and we wish for the government to stand up and take note of the following requests from us to help rebuild our high street.”

In the request, Bira highlighted the following issues that need to be addressed:

Business Rates

It says it is imperative that the government considers retaining the current retail discount at 75% for businesses with a rates payable value of up to £110,000 per annum. To promote a stable business environment, it urges the freezing of the rates multiplier, along with the implementation of measures that provide certainty to businesses, fostering an environment conducive to investment. Making the current rates discount permanent would be a significant step in this direction.

Corporation Tax

Bira advocates for the introduction of an allowance in corporation tax similar to the system implemented for income tax. This move will be instrumental in supporting businesses, ensuring their sustained growth and contribution to the overall economic landscape.

Tax-Free Shopping

Reintroducing tax-free shopping is critical to stimulating retail activity, not only in major urban centres but also in all tourist destinations across the country. By reinstating this system, the government can foster increased spending, catering to the rising number of tourists and promoting economic resilience within the retail sector.

National Minimum Wage and Employer Support

Recognising the upcoming increase in the National Minimum Wage, it emphasises the necessity for a proportional increase in the employer’s national insurance allowance by 20%. This adjustment will provide essential support to businesses, enabling them to manage costs and maintain a balanced operational framework.

Business Grants for Sustainability

Bira said it strongly advocates for the continuation of business grants designed to support small enterprises in implementing energy-saving investments. Independent retailers are committed to fostering sustainability, and adequate government assistance in this area will play a pivotal role in facilitating their efforts.

In anticipation of the upcoming budget, Bira said it remains committed to working collaboratively with the government and relevant stakeholders to ensure that the proposed measures align with the collective interests of the retail industry and the broader business community.

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