25 Jun 2020

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 to see implemented include:

  • Financial support for self-employed people who have had to stop working
  • Government intervention allowing independent retailers to claim on their insurance policy for business interruption
  • Improved guidance for banks lending under the new business interruption loan scheme
  • Extra support for landlords so they are able to work with their tenants when businesses have been closed

Andrew said: "We would like to see direct financial support to the self-employed independent retailers who have had to close their business.

"Our members were delighted to see support for their employees, but how do they cope with no income? I think a similar scheme to the employee protection scheme (80% of income covered) would be appropriate."

Measures Bira has already successfully campaigned for include: the reduction and subsequent removal of business rates; provision of grants from local authorities; support for employees through the employee protection grant; hardware/DIY stores and health food stores identified as essential services so allowed to continue trade during UK lock-down

Coronavirus: Click below to access our hub containing the latest information and advice for members and the wider independent retail sector.
Coronavirus hub