Monthly Archives: July 2020

Job Retention Bonus scheme: More details released

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today (July 31) unveiled further details of the £1,000-per-employee Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus. The announcement coincides with changes to the terms of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from tomorrow (August 1) when employers will have to start paying employees’ national insurance and pension contributions for the hours not worked.  It’s the […]

Reopening of casinos, bowling alleys and more postponed

The Prime Minister has postponed the further easing of lockdown restrictions in England following an increase in the number of cases of coronavirus, it has been announced. Tomorrow (August 1) restrictions were set to be eased to allow the reopening of casinos, bowling alleys and ice rinks, as well as the return of close contact […]

Loans boost for independent retailers

More coronavirus support loans are to be made available to independent retailers following a change to state aid rules, it was announced yesterday (July 30). Changes to the rules mean that more small businesses can now benefit from loans of up to £5 million under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). Previously businesses which […]

Coronavirus: Guidance on how retailers can contain and report local outbreaks

The Government has released guidance on how businesses can recognise, contain and report incidents of coronavirus. The COVID-19 early outbreak management information has been created to make sure that people who run businesses or organisations: know how to recognise and report an incident of coronavirus (COVID-19) are aware of measures local health protection teams may […]

New grants available for small businesses

Grants totalling £20 million are to be made available to small businesses, the Government announced today (July 30). Thousands of smaller businesses in England are set to benefit from the new government funding to help them recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Small and medium sized businesses will have access to grants of […]

Who’s exempt from wearing a face mask in England?

From Friday (July 24), the Government made it mandatory for people in England to wear face masks in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and other confined areas. However, this legislation does not apply to everyone as there are certain exemptions including: anyone under the age of 11 those with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as […]

Eat Out to Help Out promo material now available

Coffee shops, pubs and restaurants looking to participate in the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme can now access promotional material. The Government has created a variety of posters and other resources for food retailers to use to let customers know they are taking part in the scheme. Under the initiative, customers can enjoy […]

Latest guidance on mandatory face coverings in England

The Government has released further guidance on where face coverings will be mandatory in England from tomorrow (Friday, July 24). In addition to mandatory face coverings in shops, shopping centres and supermarkets, customers will also be required to wear them in take-away food outlets. Venues such as restaurants, pubs and gyms will be exempt. Those […]

‘Thank you for wearing a face mask’ – downloadable poster

From Friday (July 24), face coverings will be mandatory in all shops in England. With this in mind, Bira has created a poster to encourage customers to comply – and thank them for doing so. While retailers are not responsible for enforcing the Government-imposed measure, the poster politely reminds shoppers to wear a mask when […]

Lifting restrictions from businesses in England

In England, from 1 August, if prevalence remains around or below current levels, and COVID-19 Secure guidelines are followed, the government will: Give employers more discretion on how they ensure employees can work safely. Working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. […]

Road closures: Bira’s plea to PM to ‘give us back our high streets’

Three quarters (75%) of you say trade is being detrimentally impacted by lockdown road closures, an exclusive Bira members’ survey has revealed. We sent out the survey after many of you contacted the team to express concerns about increased road closures impacting footfall, after we published this story. As a result, Bira is calling on […]

Self-employed can defer July tax bill

The self-employed are still able to defer their July tax payment if they’re struggling financially as a result of coronavirus. The Government announced that taxes due this month July 2020 can be deferred to January 2021 for self-employed Brits who are facing financial difficulty due to the pandemic. Each payment on account is estimated, based on […]

Bira backs plans for tougher penalties for shop theft

Bira is backing government plans to take a tougher stance on shop theft. Home Secretary Priti Patel recently announced the Government would be writing to police chiefs to advise that thieves stealing items to the value of £200 should be prosecuted. The decision follows a major consultation with nearly 3,500 retailers, trade associations and unions […]

Reopening date for non-essential retail in Leicester

Non-essential shops in Leicester will be able to reopen again on Friday, July 24, the Government has confirmed. The local lockdown imposed on Leicester following a spike in coronavirus cases will begin to be eased from July 24, although not all businesses on the high street will be allowed to reopen straight away. While schools […]

Wales issues new guidance to retailers

The Welsh Government has released new guidelines for social distancing in retail. The revised advice is part of the easing of restrictions in Wales while still mitigating the risk of coronavirus. The accompanying document guidance says: “The regulations include a new more detailed approach to requiring all reasonable measures to be taken to minimise risk […]

Mastercard and Visa could be ordered to pay back £15.4bn to UK merchants

Mastercard and Visa could be ordered to pay back UK merchants a total of 17bn Euros (£15.4bn), the Supreme Court has ruled. Following a ruling in the UK yesterday (Tuesday, July 14, 2020), both MasterCard and Visa suffered heavy defeats as the Supreme Court ruled in favour of merchants. The case was led by Sainsbury’s and […]

Eat Out to Help Out scheme – What we know

In the Chancellor’s mini-Budget on Wednesday (July 8), he announced an Eat Out to Help Out Scheme. The initiative, to help boost the hospitality sector following lockdown, gives consumers the opportunity to enjoy 50% off eating out at participating outlets from Monday to Wednesday through August. Diners, including children, will be able to claim half […]

Beauty salons and nail bars set to reopen in England on Monday

Beauty services such as spas and nail salons will be able to reopen in England from Monday (July), it has been announced. The Government announced further easing of lockdown restrictions yesterday which also included the reopening of tanning studios and tattooists. However, some services – such as facials – will not yet be on offer. […]

Bira’s coronavirus membership deal raises cash for charity

Bira has raised more than £1,000 for charity through its coronavirus membership deal. At the start of lockdown, Bira offered independent retailers the opportunity to sign up for the free three-month Coronavirus Membership Package in return for a nominal donation of £1, £5 or £10 to the Rainy Day Trust (RDT). The deal was available […]

Bira ‘disappointed’ mini-Budget does not help indie retailers

Bira has expressed its disappointment that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s mini-Budget does not directly help retail business owners. Mr Sunak announced a raft of further measures to support the recovery of the economy following the coronavirus lockdown, in Parliament this afternoon (Wednesday, July 8). Features of the Budget included a job retention bonus scheme; a £2bn […]

Best Small Shops competition is ‘more important than ever’, says Bira

Bira is highlighting the importance of this year’s Best Small Shops competition. The 2020 competition, run by the Independent Retail Consortium (IRC), launched on Saturday (July 4) – Independents’ Day. It celebrates the best of the independent high street. This year’s contest is inviting entries from indies demonstrating specific innovation to combat the impact of […]

Innovative indies post-Covid to be recognised in Best Small Shops competition

Innovative indie retailers who adapt their business to combat the impact of Covid-19 are to be recognised in a special category in Britain’s Best Small Shops competition 2020. The Independent Retailers’ Confederation (IRC), a group of multi-sector trade organisations representing over 100,000 indie retailers throughout the UK, has announced a special category in its search […]

Face masks in Scottish shops mandatory from July 10

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today confirmed that shoppers will be required to wear face masks from July 10. Last week, we reported that retailers Scotland were being asked to display a poster at their entrance requesting shoppers to wear face coverings. However, wearing face masks in shops has now been made mandatory. Non-essential […]

Deadline to apply for SEISS grant approaching

Bira members are reminded that the deadline to apply for the first grant under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is fast approaching. Members, who are self-employed or a partner in a trading partnership, have until Monday, July 13, to make a may claim for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)  grant.The taxable grant is worth […]

Increased road closures ‘detrimental’ to high street trade, says Bira

Increasing numbers of road closures are a further barrier for shoppers to return to the high street, says Bira. Bira is raising concerns after members in coastal resorts highlighted the problem when roads were closed as tourists flocked to beaches during lockdown last week. Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said these issues are part of a country-wide, […]

Coronavirus: Are you ready for a second wave?

This week, Leicester was placed back in the first phase of lockdown following a spike in COVID-19 cases, prompting people to ask whether they are ready if the same happens in their city or town. Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre has shared his thoughts on how independent retailers can prepare should a local – or national […]