Monthly Archives: March 2020

Members’ survey: ‘Banks are failing independent retailers in Covid-19 crisis’

High street banks are failing to support small independent retailers in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, a new members’ survey by the Bira has revealed. Bira asked its members three key questions about the support they’ve received following the outbreak of coronavirus – and the results show a large majority are getting little or no […]

Denby ceases production operations until further notice

Over the past week Denby has followed Government advice to move employees to home working where possible, close retail stores and is now in the process of temporarily closing down our manufacturing operations so that by Friday 27th March we will have ceased production operations until further notice. A small business continuity team of employees […]

Measures to help the self-employed through Covid-19 crisis – what we know

The Government last night (March 26) announced a scheme to support the UK’s self-employed affected by the coronavirus outbreak.  So far this is what we know about the package:  Direct cash grant of 80% of profits, up to £2,500 per month for at least three months  Those eligible for the new scheme will be able to apply directly to […]

Contactless limit increases to £45 from April 1

The spending limit for contactless card payments will be increased from £30 to £45, with a national roll-out beginning from April 1, 2020. The decision to raise the limit was taken following consultation between the retail sector and the finance and payments industry and follows similar increases in several other European countries over the past […]

Concern as ‘many members may not benefit from rescue package for self-employed’, says Bira

Bira has welcomed tonight’s rescue plan for the self-employed – but has raised concerns that many members still won’t benefit. Tonight, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak unveiled a package of support for self-employed people unable to work following the outbreak of coronavirus Covid-19. The bumper package will see self-employed workers paid up 80% of […]

Utility Options waives termination fees and minimum required contract lengths

Business continuity is a pressing issue for many Bira members, especially when it comes to communications. Your telecoms provider should be able to apply a temporary divert on your phone line(s), but if you need anything more complicated, or are trying to replicate multiple lines/extensions, then Utility Options’ internet telephony products could help. Utility Options […]

Bira members warned over Covid-19 scam text

Bira members are being warned about a scam text being sent to phones threatening a Government fine for breaching the current UK lock-down. The text looks like it’s a legitimate message from the UK Government warning people they are being fined £30 for leaving their property multiple times a day. However, it has been confirmed […]

More must be done to support independent retailers through Covid-19 crisis, says Bira

Bira is stepping up its efforts to get the best deal for its members during the coronavirus crisis. Bira has already successfully lobbied for extra support for independent retailers following the outbreak of Covid-19. However, CEO Andrew Goodacre says more must be done to protect businesses from collapse. Some of the measures Bira would like […]

New coronavirus hub launched

Bira has launched a dedicated coronavirus hub to guide members and the wider retail community through the crisis. The online resource is a one-stop shop featuring a wealth of information and advice. It is being updated every day, throughout the day. Information on the hub includes: The list of businesses still allowed to trade, and […]

Bira members in Scotland can now access emergency funding

Bira members in Scotland can now apply for £1 billion-worth of grants to help them deal with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The one-off grants are designed to help protect jobs, prevent business closures and promote economic recovery, and more than 90,000 ratepayers across Scotland will be able to benefit. The grant support […]

Support needed for independent retailers forced to shut in UK-lockdown, says Bira

Bira is calling for immediate access to financial support for the small business owners effected by the Government-imposed lock-down of the country. Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said small independent retailers affected by the new shut-down measures need ‘details and transparency’ when it comes to accessing the support available to them. Tonight (Monday, March 23), Boris […]

Bira calls for ‘speed and simplicity’ in claiming latest coronavirus crisis support

The Government’s latest raft of emergency measures to save jobs and businesses amidst the coronavirus crisis is being backed by Bira. Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, has called for “speed and simplicity” in how these financial support packages are made available. Tonight (Friday, March 20), Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced a new scheme of […]

Launch of Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme brought forward

The launch of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has been brought forward. At the Budget on March 11, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced that the scheme would be available ‘over the coming weeks’. This has now been brought forward and the launch is expected in week commencing March 23 2020. As […]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Readiness Bulletin – Issue 4

This business readiness bulletin for trade associations, business representative bodies and business intermediaries provides important information for you and your business members and networks on Coronavirus (COVID-19). We suggest that organisations providing advice to business continue to ensure that the latest GOV.UK information is available on their websites to support members and networks. Specific information […]

Help with non-domestic rates in Scotland during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last update: 19.03.2020 To help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of COVID-19, the Scottish Government has made changes to non-domestic rates (business rates) for 2020-21. The move follows Bira’s direct plea to Scottish Ministers to follow the measures outlined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre […]

Bira welcomes temporary abolition of business rates in Scotland

The Scottish Government’s move to temporarily abolish business rates in a bid to minimise the impact of coronavirus has been welcomed by Bira. Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP has unveiled a new economic package to the Holyrood Parliament in response to coronavirus, including 12 months of full relief from business rates for retailers and hospitality. The move […]

Harris adjusts sales team visits

Following the latest government guidance L G Harris have asked many of their staff to begin working from home. This includes the field sales team. Please see the statement from L G Harris below. Dear Customer, RE: Covid-19 Area Sales Manager visits In response to the guidelines set out by the Goverment in last night’s […]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Readiness Bulletin – Issue 3

This business readiness bulletin provides important information for you and your business on Coronavirus (COVID-19), including the latest GOV.UK guidance. The Chancellor of the Exchequer will provide further advice for business today, Tuesday 17 March. Further information and links to the Chancellor’s statement will be circulated in tomorrow’s bulletin.   NEW – Exceptional travel advisory […]

New emergency funds welcomed – but must be available immediately

The Government’s £350 billion bailout of the UK economy in response to coronavirus has been welcomed by Bira. However, CEO Andrew Goodacre says the funds must be made available immediately to stop the collapse of many small independent retailers already seeing reduced trade. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced the enhanced packaged of emergency […]

Bira welcomes move to support small businesses in Wales through coronavirus

Bira has welcomed a move to support small businesses in Wales through the coronavirus crisis. The Welsh Government has announced it will temporarily reduce – or abolish – rates for some small businesses in a move worth £200m to help limit the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses. Shops, leisure and hospitality businesses in Wales […]

Bira Direct Product of the Month – EVO Lifestyle Products

The essential cleaning sponge from EVO Lifestyle products An official brand partner of Mrs Hinch the scrub daddy range has become a firm favourite in the cleaning category with customers. Scrub Daddy’s FlexTexture® changes texture based on your water temperature. Firm in cold water for tough scrubbing, soft in warm water for light cleaning He […]

Bira Direct Supplier of the Month March 2020 – Primaflow

Primaflow is the largest distributor of plumbing fittings and related plumbing sundries. Primaflow offer a vast range of plumbing products and a next day delivery service, from their Birmingham distribution centre, with just a £50 minimum order. The cut of time for a next day delivery is 5pm. From copper fittings to drain cleaner, plastic […]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Readiness Bulletin

This business readiness bulletin provides important information for you and your business on Coronavirus (COVID-19), including the latest GOV.UK guidance. NEW: Stay at home guidance. The guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus infection has been updated. If a person has symptoms of coronavirus infection however mild, the person should not leave home for […]

£320 million package of support for Scotland’s businesses

Immediate action in response to COVID-19 for Scotland New measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 on the business community in Scotland have been announced by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. The following steps will be put in place to support businesses during the 2020-21 financial year: a 75% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure […]

Coronavirus emergency fund – what it means for you

Newly-appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered his first Budget yesterday (March 11). It included a £30bn emergency package to help the UK economy weather the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and comes following a direct plea from Bira. Here’s what the measures will mean for small independent businesses – and how to access […]

Tax helpline to support businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)

New HMRC helpline launched to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The helpline allows any business or self-employed individual who is concerned about […]

Budget 2020: Bira welcomes emergency funds to help independent retailers through coronavirus crisis

Bira has welcomed the Chancellor’s emergency package to help small retail businesses amid the coronavirus crisis. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered his first Budget this afternoon (March 11) which included a £30bn package to help the UK economy respond to the coronavirus. He announced the outbreak will bring ‘significant impact’ in the short […]

South East Essex Branch Meeting Minutes

Meeting                Bira South East Essex Branch   At                                The Springhouse, Springhouse Road, Corringham.                                     South East Essex Branch   Date                            Tuesday 21st January 2020   Present                       Ron Huelin (Chairman)           – Retired Member Maureen Huelin (Secretary)   – Retired Member Roy Dedross (Treasurer)         – Retired Member Don Lang                                – F.G. Lang (Grays) Ltd Dave Baskerville                     […]

Bira’s five-point plan to Save Our Shops (SOS)

A five-point plan to Save Our Shops (SOS) has been issued by Bira. It’s the key feature of Bira’s forthcoming manifesto which focuses on what can be done to better support independent retail businesses and minimise the burden on them. Bira is asking for the following: Urgent business rates reform – the current system is outdated […]

Call for emergency business fund to support coronavirus-hit independent retailers

Bira is calling for the Treasury to set up an emergency business fund to help those affected by coronavirus. The plea comes as part of Bira’s statement to Chancellor Rishi Sunak ahead of next Wednesday’s Budget. Bira is calling for a number of measures to support small retail businesses through the coronavirus emergency including: An immediate increase […]