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25.09

Bira warns of ‘mass closures on the high street’ without more government support

There could be ‘mass closures on the high street’ if more Government support is not made available, Bira is warning. It comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak cancelled the autumn Budget in which he was expected to make an announcement on the review of the business rates system. In a statement yesterday (Thursday, September 24), the […]

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24.09

If you have a screen between you and a customer, do you need to wear a mask?

The Government made it compulsory for retail staff to wear a face covering from today (Thursday, September 24). However, if you have already installed physical screens at points of sale, is it still necessary to wear a face mask? A number of members contacted our team to ask for guidance on this matter, so Bira […]

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24.09

Extra protection for commercial tenants welcomed by Bira

Further measures to protect commercial tenants against aggressive evictions have been welcomed by the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira). Today (September 24, 2020), the Government announced that the ban on Statutory Demands and Winding Up Petitions due to Covid-related inability to pay rent in full will be extended from September 30 until December 31. This brings the […]

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24.09

Chancellor’s statement: What it could mean for retailers

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced new measures to support businesses and protect jobs this afternoon (Thursday, September 24).  Here, we look at the main points of his statement and what it could mean for retailers. Job Support Scheme Six-month scheme will start on November 1, 2020, following the end of the furlough scheme. To be eligible, […]

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24.09

Bira’s reaction to Chancellor’s statement

Bira has welcomed the Chancellor’s new measures to further support businesses and protect jobs, announced today (Thursday, September 24). Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced a raft of new schemes to preserve jobs and boost the economy in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Measures announced included a new jobs support initiative – […]

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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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22.09

Local lockdowns – A round-up by area

UK Governments have imposed a number local lockdowns over the last few weeks, in a bid to curb the increase in the number of coronavirus cases. Here, we have rounded up those local lockdown, by country, with links to further details on those lockdowns and how they could impact you, or your business. Each area […]

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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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22.09

Compulsory for retail staff to wear face masks

It will be compulsory for all retail workers in England to wear face masks, it has been announced today. Waiters, bar staff and taxi drivers will also have to wear face coverings – and there will be fines for those who do not do so. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson today […]

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18.09

Spending on home improvement is boosting sales figures, confirms Bira

Bira is backing findings from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that spending on homeware and DIY is boosting retail sales figures. The ONS released its retail report for August 2020, revealing a fourth consecutive month of growth, with sales up by 0.8% when compared with July. The report, published today (September 18) said spending […]

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18.09

Bira welcomes London Mayor’s support for further business rates holiday

Bira has welcomed the London Mayor’s support for an extension to the business rates holiday. Bira has been campaigning for the Government to extend its business rates holiday past April 2021, as retailers continue to recover from the impact of Covid-19. Now, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has spoken in favour of the move, calling on […]

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17.09

Curfew enforced in North East of England

A 10pm curfew will be imposed to bars, restaurants and pubs in a large area of the North East of England, it has been announced today (Thursday, September 17). The restrictions are just part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus following a spike in the area, and include a ban on households mixing. […]

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16.09

New lockdown restrictions in Rhondda Cyon Taff

All licensed pubs, bars and restaurants in the Welsh county of Rhodda Cyon Taff will have to shut at 11pm every day, once new lockdown restrictions come into effect. The move was announced as part of tighter restrictions being imposed on residents from 6pm tomorrow (Thursday). It is the second Welsh county to increase measures […]

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16.09

Bira delighted at extended protection for commercial tenants against eviction

Bira is ‘delighted’ the Government has extended its protection for commercial tenants from eviction until the end of the year. Today’s announcement, made by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, follows Bira’s campaigning efforts highlighting the concern of members. It means that businesses will be protected from the threat of eviction until the end of 2020 – […]

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16.09

Bira calls for new measures to futureproof our high streets

Bira is calling for new measures to protect high street traders. It follows recent data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC), revealing high street recovery from the impact of Covid-19 remains slow. The measures have also been set out in anticipation, and to mitigate the impact, of further local […]

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16.09

Scottish retail recovery still ‘painfully slow’ – SRC

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) has released its Retail Sales Monitor for August, 2020. The report revealed recovery from the impact of the pandemic were ‘painfully slow’. David Lonsdale, Director, Scottish Retail Consortium, explained: “Six months on from the start of the pandemic and the revival of retail is proving painfully slow and protracted. “The recovery […]

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11.09

Retail businesses urged to prepare for NHS COVID-19 app

Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cafes and other venues across England and Wales are being urged to download QR codes to prepare for public rollout of new app, it has been announced. The NHS COVID-19 app is currently being trialled and will launch on Thursday, September 24, in England and Wales, including QR check-in at venues QR […]

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10.09

Local lockdowns: Retailers forced to close could receive payment

Retail businesses in England that are required to shut because of local lockdowns will now be able to claim up to £1,500 per property every three weeks. The Government announced the scheme yesterday (Tuesday, September 9) to provide a  safety net to further protect jobs where a business is required to close. To be eligible […]

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10.09

Cafes, hairdressers and pubs must record customer details

Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cafes must have a system in place by law to record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff in the latest move to break the chains of transmission of coronavirus, it has been announced. These businesses had been advised to collect and share data, with many effectively doing so, but […]

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08.09

Christmas will be a cracker for Mica members

Christmas is set to be a cracker this year for Mica members – and they want you at the table. During lockdown, Mica – the marketing cooperative of independent retailers and Bira’s newest division – has been working hard on its upcoming Christmas campaign. As a group Bira (through Mica) can now offer an alternative […]

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08.09

What sort of training do you need?

Bira Training is inviting you to get in touch with the type of online training you think would best suit your needs. The department has been working hard to adapt to the current needs of members post-lockdown, working on a range of options to develop and deliver online training to complement its existing services. Online […]

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08.09

More than 100 million meals eaten on landmark scheme

More than 100 million meals were eaten as part of the landmark Eat Out to Help Out scheme, it has been announced. The Chancellor Rishi Sunak thanked Brits for eating out during August to protect 1.8 million jobs in hospitality and drive the nation’s economic recovery from coronavirus. Latest figures show that Eat Out to […]

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27.08

New payment for people forced to self-isolate

A new payment scheme to help low income people who need to self isolate and cannot work from home in areas with high incidence of COVID-19, has been announced. The Government says payments of up to £182 will be made to people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their contacts, from Tuesday, September 1. […]

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26.08

Add your name to call for VAT cut

Bira members are invited to add their names to a petition calling the Government to reduce VAT to 5% for the retail sector in a bid to ‘save the high street’. Chris Hayes of Woven, a menswear retailer in Durham, launched the petition and is looking to get at least 100,000 signatures – meaning the […]

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21.08

High street retail ‘still under considerable pressure’, says Bira

Bira is warning that high street retail is ‘still under considerable pressure’, following new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggesting its in recovery. Positive data from the ONS has been interpreted to suggest high street trade is improving post-lockdown. However, Bira’s CEO, Andrew Goodacre, said this is misleading. “Any retail sales growth […]

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20.08

Bira: Local authorities road closures are ‘accelerating the decline of the high street’

Local authorities across the UK are ‘accelerating the decline of the high street’ with unnecessary road closures, according to Bira. We’ve been inundated with your calls concerned that post-lockdown accessibility issues are significantly impacting trade. We are now working hard to help you address these problems, and to bring the issue to the attention of […]

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18.08

Second Self-Employment Income Support Scheme launched

The Government has launched its second stage of its Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Yesterday (August 17), it was announced that millions of self-employed people whose livelihoods have been affected by coronavirus will be able to claim a second payment of up to £6,570 – as the Government continues to help drive the UK’s recovery. […]

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14.08

England: Further restrictions lifted tomorrow

Remaining aspects of England’s culture, sport, leisure and business sectors will be permitted to reopen from this weekend. The plan set out in the ‘roadmap to recovery’ which was paused for two weeks will resume from tomorrow (Saturday, August 15) in England – except for specific areas where local restrictions are in place. The following […]

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13.08

Stop press! Your next Bira magazine is on its way

The next edition of the Bira membership magazine has gone into production. With a projected delivery date of August 27, this magazine celebrates members’ creativity, tenacity and determination during lockdown and beyond. Cover star Hellen Stirling-Baker of Small Stuff in Sheffield tells us about the innovative ways she’s been boosting business during the pandemic. Elsewhere, […]

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13.08

Retailers urged to sign up for new leadership scheme

More details have been released about the new leadership programmes for small business owners. The fully-funded scheme has been launched by the Small Business Charter with the backing of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to help small and medium-sized businesses to survive and thrive beyond Covid-19. The Small Business Leadership Programme […]

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13.08

Extra support needed for retailers to meet rent demands, says Bira

‘Positive action’ is needed to help retail businesses meet rent demands as they continue to recover from the Covid-19 crisis, Bira has said. It is backing the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) proposals for a Property Bounceback Grant, after exclusive research revealed independent retailers were concerned about paying their rent while trade struggled to return to […]

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12.08

Bira’s ‘thank you’ to government’s #ShopLocal Week

Bira is thanking the Government for launching its #ShopLocal Week. The #ShopLocal campaign, which started on Monday (August 10) and runs until Sunday, August 16, aims to celebrate the British high street by encouraging customers to return to their safe, local shops, supporting the local economy and local jobs. Bira has been supplying its members […]

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12.08

Retailers missing out on millions in unallocated council cash

Retail businesses are missing out on millions of pounds of unallocated local authority grants, according to Bira. It has been revealed that emergency coronavirus funding for firms will go back to the Treasury at the end of the month if it is not claimed. It is believed £1.5 billion of the £12bn still remains in […]

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06.08

StopCOVID Proximity App Launched in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s Covid-19 contact-tracing mobile phone app has become the first in the UK to launch. StopCOVID Proximity App aims to help prevent the further spread of infections by informing people when they have been in contact with an individual that has received a positive coronavirus test. The app will advise them to self-isolate, breaking […]

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06.08

Local restrictions introduced in Aberdeen

Following an increase in coronavirus cases in Aberdeen, local restrictions have been introduced, including the closure of indoor and outdoor hospitality. Taking effect from 5pm on Wednesday 5 August, bars, restaurants, cafes and pubs have been required by law to close. Hotel restaurants can remain open to provide food for existing guests, and takeaway services […]

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31.07

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 […]

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31.07

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 […]

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31.07

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 […]

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30.07

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 […]

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30.07

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 […]

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28.07

Bira CEO talks to Radio News Hub

The introduction of mandatory face masks in shops and other restricted spaces in England was the topic of a news interview featuring Bira’s CEO. Andrew Goodacre was one of the guests on Monday’s Radio News Hub chat show hosted by Jon Francis. Other representatives on the programme were Regina Toth, who works in retail in […]

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27.07

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 […]

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24.07

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 […]

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23.07

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 […]

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22.07

‘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 […]

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21.07

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 […]

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17.07

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 […]

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17.07

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 […]

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17.07

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 […]

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17.07

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 […]

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