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What have Bira been up to in January?

Working with Scottish Retail Consortium to retain Uniform Business Rates due to the proposal to allow local authorities in Scotland to set their own rates. We have submitted a response to a general consultation and done a joint letter to all MSPs (Members of Scottish Parliament). We think this is important because we fear that local authorities would increase rates, to the detriment of our members in Scotland.

Secondly we now know the date of the budget (11th March) and we are lobbying to the Chancellor to fulfil promises made in the election manifesto – namely that the current retail discount would be increased from 30% to 50% and that there would be reform of business rates in general. We have been asking for this since September 2018 and it now looks as if it will come to force in 2020.

We have written to and urge all members to contact their local MP to make the same request.

It’s key we retain a thriving high street and see 2020 as being the ideal opportunity for the powers that be to truly level the playing field for independent businesses.