Monthly Archives: April 2020

Revaluation of business rates postponed following pressure from Bira

A government plan to bring forward the next revaluation of business rates to April 1, 2021, has been shelved following pressure from Bira. Bira joined other heads of the retail sector in demanding that Chancellor Rishi Sunak withdraw ‘disastrous’ legislation, which was due to be discussed on Wednesday (April 29). However, on Monday (April 27), […]

Bira’s CEO shares possible exit strategy

Brave, customer-focussed retailers who work closely with others in their community are most likely to survive in post-lockdown UK, according to Bira’s CEO. Andrew Goodacre has shared his thoughts for a possible exit strategy for the retail industry calling for restrictions to be first lifted for smaller shops and businesses. It comes as pressure mounts […]

Bira calls on Chancellor to bin rates reform Bill

Bira is urging the Government to scrap plans to bring forward the next revaluation of business rates to April 1, 2021. Bira has joined other heads of the retail sector in calling Chancellor Rishi Sunak to withdraw ‘disastrous’ legislation, due to be discussed tomorrow (Wednesday, April 29). The Non-Domestic Rating (lists) Bill was introduced in the […]

Bira welcomes 100% Government-backed loans for smallest businesses with bounce back loan scheme

Bira has welcomed a new Government bounce back scheme to offer 100% taxpayer-backed loans for the UK’s smallest businesses. Last night (April 27), Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced the scheme would start next week offering firms loans of up to £50,000 within days of applying. To access the loans – free of capital […]

New Covid-19 tests – who qualifies for one?

The Government has announced a new scheme to offer testing to key workers and their families displaying symptoms of Covid-19. Yesterday (April 23), Health Secretary Matt Hancock pledged that 100,000 tests a day would be made available for the 10 million people in England designated as essential workers, and their family members – if they […]

Bira welcomes new protection for retailers from aggressive debt recovery

Temporary new measures to protect small businesses against aggressive debt recovery during the Covid-19 crisis have been welcomed by Bira.  Today (April 23), Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced landlords and investors will be asked to work collaboratively with high street businesses unable to pay their bills through the coronavirus pandemic. The measures – introduced under […]

Join live online chat with Bira CEO

Bira members are invited to submit their questions to a live online chat with CEO Andrew Goodacre. Localise – a pioneering new shopping app for independent retailers – is hosting the Q&A as part of its We are in this Together small business community initiative on Facebook next Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 11am. Andrew […]

Bira members share inspiring stories of lockdown life

From making scrubs for NHS staff to providing bags of books for disadvantaged children, Bira members have been helping communities across the UK cope during the coronavirus outbreak. Bira asked members to share their experiences amidst the countrywide lockdown – and the stories reveal an uplifting sense of community spirit and creativity in a crisis. […]

New business support finder launched

Are you still unsure about the type of government support available to you following the outbreak of Covid-19? The Government has launched a business support finder to help retailers access the funding channels open to them. By visiting support finder website, and answering nine simple questions, including number of staff employed and rateable valuable of […]

Government’s furlough scheme now open

The portal for Government’s furlough scheme has now opened. The scheme was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of the Government’s response to the outbreak of Covid-19. It allows employers to grant staff temporary leave of absence while claiming 80% of their salary, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. HMRC which runs […]

Bira welcomes additional support for Scottish retailers

Bira has welcomed a move by the Scottish Government to give additional financial support to small retail businesses. Scottish Ministers have announced a second phase of funding – worth £120 million – in response to the outbreak of coronavirus. This means businesses with one property will get a 100% grant. Those with more than one […]

Furlough cut-off date extended

The Government has extended the cut-off date for its furlough scheme. Chancellor Rishi Sunak last night (April 15) announced the eligibility cut-off date for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was now March 19, 2020. Under the scheme, employers can claim a grant covering 80% of the wages for a furloughed employee, subject to a cap […]

Crime unit provides latest advice for Bira members

A crime prevention unit is sharing information with Bira members in a bid to help protect their businesses amid the outbreak of Covid-19. The National Police Intelligence Team is highlighting some of the retail crime trends emerging as a result of the UK-wide lockdown. Announced by PM Boris Johnson on March 23, the lockdown included […]

Behind the scenes at Le Creuset

Bira Direct supplier Le Creuset will feature in a BBC Two programme tonight (April 14, 2020). Inside the Factory, fronted by MasterChef host Gregg Wallace, will go behind the scenes at the Le Creuset foundry in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France. The programme will be screened at 9pm and explore the care and attention to detail that goes […]

Banks still failing small retail businesses, says Bira

High street lenders are failing to ‘rise to the challenge’ of supporting small retail businesses during the Covid-19 crisis, according to Bira. Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said new government figures revealing that only 1.4% of applications for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme had been successful were ‘no surprise’. The figures have been released almost […]

Letter from the Secretary of State, Alok Sharma, to those working in retail

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, addresses all those in the retail sector to offer thanks to those who are working during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  In the letter, addressed to ‘everyone working in the retail sector‘, Alok Sharma says “I know that these are challenging and uncertain times, in particular […]

Bira fight ‘anomaly’ in government grant funding

Bira is highlighting an ‘anomaly’ in government grant funding meaning small independent retailers could be missing out on £15,000 Covid-19 cash. According to real estate advisory firm Altus Group almost 3,700 small shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants could miss out on the money. An early payment of business rates totalling around £3.4 billion was made […]

Emergency bank loans will be easier to recieve, says Chancellor

Bira is backing today’s Government announcement that Covid-19 bank loans will be easier to apply for and receive. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said there will be changes to proposed government assistance measures, after the banks were criticised making it too difficult for businesses seeking help. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) will be easier to […]

Bira welcomes Government pledge to pressure banks into making Covid-19 cash accessible

The Government’s pledge to pressure the banks to ease up lending to small businesses has been welcomed by Bira.  Last night (April 1), Business Secretary Alok Sharma called on high street lenders to ease access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CBILS) for small independent retailers during the crisis. His intervention comes following reports […]

Scottish politicians ‘moving proverbial goalposts’ in allocation of Covid-19 grants, says Bira

The Scottish Government is ‘moving proverbial goalposts’ in allocation of the coronavirus support grants, says Bira. Bira has added its voice to a growing number of trade groups lobbying Scottish parliament over restrictions to the pledged £25,000 grants. The trade groups, which includes the Scottish Retail Consortium, has written to Finance Secretary Kate Forbes MSP […]