23 Mar 2020

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 Johnson announced a UK-wide lockdown including the closure of all non-essential shops in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus. Under the new measures, Brits will only be able to travel out for essential goods, medical needs, and brief exercise.

Shops which will be allowed to remain open are: supermarkets, pet stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, newsagents, banks, health food stores and post offices.

Speaking after the measures were announced, Andrew said: "“We understand the need to protect customers and employees from Covid19 and so more shop closures were inevitable.

"We have already seen many members make the decision before being told to do so. The list of those shops that can stay open is a logical list.

"It is now even more important for the details of the various support packages to be made available in detail and with transparency. We are still hearing about local authorities claiming not to know about the grants and the there is limited information on the employment protection grant.

"We note that closed shops can still trade online and deliver products, and Bira will be helping members adjust their business model.”Coronavirus: Access our hub containing the latest information and advice for members and the wider independent retail sector.

Access the latest information and advice for members by clicking the button below to visit the Bira Coronavirus hub.

Coronavirus hub