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02.12

Bira fights for indie retailers in meeting with business minister

Bira was one of the key representatives in a meeting with government business ministers and the Independent Retail Consortium (IRC). Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre and Director of Marketing John Halliday attended the ‘virtual’ meeting with Paul Scully, Minister for Small Businesses, to raise awareness for the concerns of the independent retailer. Matter discussed included: Independent […]

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01.12

Bira urges shoppers to hit the high street when shops reopen

Bira is urging shoppers to hit the high street again when non-essential retail reopens tomorrow (Wednesday, December 2, 2020). Bira says there has never been a more important time for shoppers to get out and support their local independent retailers. Non-essential retail in England has been closed since November 5, 2020, as part of Government measures to […]

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30.11

Wales new lockdown – but non essential retail can remain open

Wales will be plunged into a new lockdown from Friday (December 4, 2020) however, non-essential retail will be allowed to remain open. Under the new measures announced today by Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, pubs, bars and restaurants will not be able to sell alcohol, and will have to shut at 6pm. Cinemas, bowling alleys […]

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11.08

eSlot

eSlot has been created as a completely free initiative to aid recovery, help control the virus and keep the number of jobs lost as low as possible. eSlot comprises two core functions to assist you run your business efficiently, Test & Trace and Booking & Appointments. These can be enabled separately or in tandem: Test […]

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23.11

Non-essential retail to reopen from December 2

Non-essential retail in England will be allowed to reopen from next Wednesday, December 2, the Prime Minister has announced. Boris Johnson addressed the House of Commons this afternoon (Monday, November 23), to set out his Covid winter plan for England after lockdown ends next week. England will return to the Tier Three system adopted before […]

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28.05

NHS Test and Trace

This guidance explains how employers and businesses can play their part in the NHS Test and Trace programme to slow the spread of the virus, protect the health and care system and save lives. This guidance should be used in conjunction with the Working Safely During COVID Guidance. By following the BEIS guidance employers can […]

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13.07

Job Retention Bonus

To be eligible, the employees for which the employer will receive the grant will need to: Earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average in November, December and January and be paid in each month; Have been furloughed by that employer at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job […]

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22.11

List your business for free on a national newspaper website

We know how difficult trade is for many of you right now, and we are always working hard to provide you with new opportunities to promote your business and grow your customer base. This week, the Daily Mirror and 35 of its regional titles across England and Wales are launching In Your Area – a […]

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17.11

Bira CEO talks retail lockdown in podcast series

Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre is the latest guest on Service Dealer’s regular podcast series. The Inside Agri-Turf series which has featured BAGMA‘s Director Keith Christian usually focusses on matters from the agriculture and groundscare sector however, Andrew was invited on to talk about the retail sector. He talks to host Chris Biddle in an episode […]

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17.11

Eleven council areas of Scotland to be put under tightest restrictions

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that 11 council areas in the country are moving into level four of the coronavirus tier system. In further efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19, it means millions of Scots will be living with the strictest restrictions. The council areas that will move to level four for […]

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06.05

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – updated 29.05.2020 On Friday 29th May the Government announced an extension to cover a further three months of earnings – but at a rate to match the furlough scheme. The changes include: Individuals can continue to apply for the first SEISS grant until 13 July. Under the first grant, eligible individuals can claim […]

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06.05

Bounce Back Loan

The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the […]

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13.11

Scottish tier system: Guidance for retailers published

The Scottish Government has published its guidance about retail closures under its five-tier Covid-alert system. The framework governs the restrictions for each Local Authority area. No local authorities have been placed in Level 4 (the highest – and which requires closure of ‘non-essential retail’) with the vast majority in Levels 3  and 2.  The levels […]

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13.11

Job Retention Bonus Scheme withdrawn

The Government’s Job Retention Bonus Scheme has been withdrawn after other support measures were announced. The Job Retention Bonus was a £1,000 one-off taxable payment to the employer, for each eligible employee that was furloughed and kept continuously employed until January 31, 2021. However, the scheme was withdrawn after the enhanced furlough package was announced […]

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04.05

Point of Sale & Social Distancing Kits by Bamboo Creations

New from Socialdistancingkits.co.uk is a one stop shop for all your point of sale signage and hardware needs.  This new site includes designs across key seasonal events such as Christmas and Easter, promotional signage for key sales opportunities, a range of new hardware to bring your signs to life in store plus a link back […]

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13.11

‘Non-essential’ retailers in line for grants totalling £2.2 billion

‘Non-essential’ retailers forced to shut in England’s second lockdown could be eligible for grants totalling £2.2 billion, the Government has announced. Businesses will benefit from two grant schemes: one for businesses that have had to close, and another scheme for further business support as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Money was transferred to councils […]

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25.03

Restrictions lifted to help traders during Covid-19 outbreak

Plastic bag charge The 5p plastic bag charge for online deliveries to speed up hygienic food distribution during the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. The plastic bag charge was introduced in England in October 2015 to reduce plastic waste. This waiver was announced on Saturday, March 21, and is one in a series of measures being enforced by the UK […]

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25.03

Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs  Eligibility You are eligible if:  your business is based in England  you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR   you are a business that occupies property  How to access the scheme You do not need […]

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25.03

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.  The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders […]

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24.03

Regional Support

Government links For members in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland it is advisable to keep updated on the latest government advice from your devolved government websites. For Scottish Government updates click here.  For Welsh Government updates click here.  For Northern Irish Executive updates click here. 

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25.03

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of £15,000 and under will receive a grant of £10,000.  Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.  Eligibility You are eligible for the grant if:  your business is […]

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25.03

Business Rates Relief

Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.  Eligibility You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:  your business is based in England  your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector  Properties that will benefit from […]

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25.03

Coronavirus Guidance

We’ve compiled Government and employment law advice and guidance for businesses and employers regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

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24.03

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and more

Parents returning to work after extended leave eligible for furlough Updated 10.06.2020 People on paternity and maternity leave who return to work in the coming months will be eligible for the Government’s furlough scheme, HM Treasury has announced. parents on statutory maternity and paternity leave who return to work in the coming months will be […]

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24.03

Employer/Employee Support

Employment allowance There is support for small businesses available during the COVID-19 pandemic.    Small employers with a National Insurance bill of £100,000 or less qualify for the Employment Allowance.  This will be expanded from April to £4,000 per small business, enough, for example, to fund the National Insurance employer contributions in total for four employees on […]

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24.03

Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

VAT For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.  Eligibility All UK businesses are eligible.  How to access the scheme This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of […]

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24.03

Talking to your local authorities

Business Rates & Hardship Fund Your local authorities are those responsible for the administration of business rates.  The government has announced that they will introduce a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.  Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax […]

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24.03

Existing Supplier Support

Business Insurance Commercial insurance – updated 25.03.2020 Most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases, such as COVID-19. However, those businesses which have an insurance policy that covers government ordered closure and pandemics or government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable disease should be able to make a claim (subject to […]

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24.03

Bank support

Get access to financial support If you feel the impact of COVID-19 will cause your business to struggle financially, it is a good idea to speak to your bank about the options you have as soon as possible. Our advice is that prevention is better than cure and that you are in a better position knowing the […]

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24.03

HMRC Support

HMRC Support Available HMRC support relating to your business during the coronavirus – Time to pay service If you have any concerns and fears about not being able to pay your tax bills as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) then we recommend you contact Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as you may be eligible […]

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23.03

How you can help us help more retailers

Explore and share your options Bira members have access to crucial services that could be beneficial to your business at this critical time. Now more than ever, independent retailers like you may need our support and guidance. It’s important that you explore and share all of the services that are freely available to you through your […]

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12.11

Important news for cookshops

We have been made aware that Trading Standards in some parts of England are prepared to let cookware shops open during lockdown by agreeing to classify them as hardware shops (and therefore essential). Bira supported a cookshop to challenge a previous decision to close the shop and the retailer has received written confirmation from the […]

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12.11

New freedoms for restaurants, pubs and cafes to offer takeaway services

Restaurants, pubs and cafes will get automatic freedoms to provide takeaway services for another year, the Government has announced. The measures help give these businesses the ability to continue to serve customers and retain their staff. It will also help them adapt to longer-term changes they may wish to introduce, such as serving their customers from […]

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11.11

‘Don’t turn your back on indie fashion retailers’, says Bira

Bira is backing an evocative new campaign by a group of independent fashion retailers highlighting their plight during England’s second lockdown. The owners of shops in the Boutiques in Business group have used their window displays to demonstrate how they feel the Government has turned its back on them – by doing the same with […]

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11.11

Open letter to Bira members from CEO Andrew Goodacre

Dear Bira Member, I am writing to you to provide an update on the work being carried out by Bira on your behalf during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. As you are aware, from November 5, to December 2, 2020 inclusive, all ‘non-essential’ retailers were required to close for the second time this year as part […]

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06.11

Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

Bira is calling for government intervention over the types of ‘non-essential’ retail still taking place during England’s second lockdown. Bira believes that some retailers – those with large mixed retail spaces – have been given an unfair advantage as they continue to open while many Bira members and other indies are forced to close for […]

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06.11

Letter to Bira Direct Suppliers regarding the second national lockdown

Dear Valued Bira Direct Supplier, I am writing to you to provide an update on the work being carried out by Bira on the Industry behalf during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. On Thursday, November 5, 2020, all ‘non-essential’ retailers were required to close for the second time this year as part of the Government’s measures […]

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06.11

Government releases further guidance for retailers

Further guidance has been provided by the Government on the terms of trade for retailers during the current lockdown in England. Along with listing the types of businesses which are deemed ‘essential’, and those that must close, there is also guidance on mixed retail spaces. The document states that where it is possible, and there are […]

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05.11

Chancellor extends furlough scheme until March 2021

The Government has announced it will extend its furlough scheme in England until the end of March 2021, in an effort to protect businesses through the winter. Chancellor Rishi Sunak also said that the self-employed income support grant will also increase from 55% to 80% of average profits – up to £7,500 The Coronavirus Job […]

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04.11

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail in England will be required to close from Thursday, November 5, for one month as part of lockdown measures to stop the spread of coronavirus. However, if you are a retail business required to close, you are still allowed to operate a click and collect, or delivery service, as long as customers do […]

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04.11

Wales lockdown: Non-essential retail to reopen from November 9

Non-essential retail in Wales will be allowed to reopen from Monday, November 9, 2020, following a 17-day fire breaker. The Welsh Government has set out new restrictions for the country after the circuit breaker lockdown concludes on Sunday night. The rules will be as follows: All premises, such as shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and gyms, […]

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03.11

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer?

Ahead of the one-month lockdown in England starting on Thursday, Bira has received the official list of the retailers allowed to remain open. From 00.01 on Thursday, November 5, 2020, England will be on its second national lockdown to curb the rising number of coronavirus cases. This includes the closure of all non-essential retail. Bira […]

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31.10

Furlough and grant schemes extended through second lockdown

The Government has tonight (Saturday, October 31) announced it will extend its furlough and grant schemes through the second national lockdown. The Prime Minister said the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also known as the furlough scheme – will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours […]

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31.10

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Non-essential retail and hospitality venues will be required to shut for a month under a new nationwide lockdown in England, it has been announced.  Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the lockdown would come into force from one minute past midnight (00.01) on Thursday (November 5) and end on Wednesday, December 2. The last day of […]

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23.10

New five-tier Covid alert for Scotland

Scotland will enter a new five-tier system of coronavirus alert levels, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced. The new system will come into force from November 2, 2020, when temporary restrictions on the hospitality trade are to expire. It features five levels of measures – from ‘level zero’ to four – to be applied in […]

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22.10

New support for businesses impacted by lockdown restrictions

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced further financial support for businesses impacted by coronavirus restrictions. Today (Thursday, October 22), the Chancellor said the Government would increase its contribution under the new Job Support Scheme so that businesses would only have to pay 5% of wage costs. He also said that  business grants would be expanded […]

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22.10

Businesses reminded to display QR codes – or face fines

Businesses including hairdressers, beauticians and hospitality venues are being reminded that it is a legal requirement to display official NHS Track and Trace QR codes and log visitors. The Government has warned that any venues not complying with the legislation could face fines of up to £4,000. Other venues required to display QR codes include […]

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22.10

Bira angry over Welsh Government U-turn on ‘essential’ stores

Bira is angry the Welsh Government has made a U-turn on which shops can trade during its two-week lockdown – just hours before its implementation. Bira only received clarification from the Welsh Government last night (Wednesday, October 21) that homeware stores will not be classed as ‘essential’ retail so will have to shut from tomorrow […]

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21.10

Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire raised to Tier Three restrictions

All bars and pubs in Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire – unless they serve ‘substantial’ meals – will be ordered to close as the areas are put under Tier Three restrictions. The measures are part of the Government’s efforts to drive down rising numbers of coronavirus in the two regions. Greater Manchester will move from […]

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20.10

Wales lockdown: Which retail businesses can stay open? (updated 22/10/2020)

Further details of the circuit breaker in Wales – and the support available to businesses forced to shut – has been made available. Yesterday (Monday, October 19), the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced there would be a tw0-week circuit breaker lockdown from 6pm this Friday. The measures are to curb the rising cases of […]

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