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10.07

Eat Out to Help Out scheme – What we know

In the Chancellor’s mini-Budget on Wednesday (July 8), he announced an Eat Out to Help Out Scheme. The initiative, to help boost the hospitality sector following lockdown, gives consumers the opportunity to enjoy 50% off eating out at participating outlets from Monday to Wednesday through August. Diners, including children, will be able to claim half […]

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08.07

Bira ‘disappointed’ mini-Budget does not help indie retailers

Bira has expressed its disappointment that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s mini-Budget does not directly help retail business owners. Mr Sunak announced a raft of further measures to support the recovery of the economy following the coronavirus lockdown, in Parliament this afternoon (Wednesday, July 8). Features of the Budget included a job retention bonus scheme; a £2bn […]

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07.07

Best Small Shops competition is ‘more important than ever’, says Bira

Bira is highlighting the importance of this year’s Best Small Shops competition. The 2020 competition, run by the Independent Retail Consortium (IRC), launched on Saturday (July 4) – Independents’ Day. It celebrates the best of the independent high street. This year’s contest is inviting entries from indies demonstrating specific innovation to combat the impact of […]

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03.07

Innovative indies post-Covid to be recognised in Best Small Shops competition

Innovative indie retailers who adapt their business to combat the impact of Covid-19 are to be recognised in a special category in Britain’s Best Small Shops competition 2020. The Independent Retailers’ Confederation (IRC), a group of multi-sector trade organisations representing over 100,000 indie retailers throughout the UK, has announced a special category in its search […]

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07.04

IRC business interruption insurance survey

The IRC is a well-established organisation representing over 100,000 independent retailers throughout the UK, it brings together like-minded trade associations with interests in the small and independent retail sector. The IRC are collecting data from independent retail businesses which: 1. Have a Business Interruption clause in their insurance policy and 2. Have submitted a formal […]

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02.07

Face masks in Scottish shops mandatory from July 10

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today confirmed that shoppers will be required to wear face masks from July 10. Last week, we reported that retailers Scotland were being asked to display a poster at their entrance requesting shoppers to wear face coverings. However, wearing face masks in shops has now been made mandatory. Non-essential […]

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02.07

Deadline to apply for SEISS grant approaching

Bira members are reminded that the deadline to apply for the first grant under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is fast approaching. Members, who are self-employed or a partner in a trading partnership, have until Monday, July 13, to make a may claim for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)  grant.The taxable grant is worth […]

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02.07

Autumn Fair 2020 will offer a virtual forum this September

Hyve Group announce changes to their 2020 show calendar Autumn Fair will return 5th-8th September 2021   London, UK, 2nd July 2020 – Hyve, the organiser of Autumn Fair, the season’s most important marketplace for the home and gift retail industry, and the co-located Jewellery & Watch and Fashion (JWF) announce today changes to the […]

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01.07

Increased road closures ‘detrimental’ to high street trade, says Bira

Increasing numbers of road closures are a further barrier for shoppers to return to the high street, says Bira. Bira is raising concerns after members in coastal resorts highlighted the problem when roads were closed as tourists flocked to beaches during lockdown last week. Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said these issues are part of a country-wide, […]

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01.07

Coronavirus: Are you ready for a second wave?

This week, Leicester was placed back in the first phase of lockdown following a spike in COVID-19 cases, prompting people to ask whether they are ready if the same happens in their city or town. Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre has shared his thoughts on how independent retailers can prepare should a local – or national […]

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30.06

Non-essential retailers in Leicester forced to close again

Non-essential retailers in Leicester have been placed on lockdown again following a spike in coronavirus cases in the city. The decision comes just two weeks after non-essential retail in England was allowed to reopen. Schools in Leicester have also been put back into lockdown. The situation comes as the rest of England prepares to ease […]

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26.06

‘Encouraging’ start to return of non-essential retail

The latest Bira members’ survey has revealed ‘encouraging’ trade following the reopening of non-essential shops in England. And Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre has welcomed the reopening of the hospitality industry – on July 4 in England – as it will further support members and the wider independent retail sector. The members’ survey was carried out to assess […]

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26.06

Retailers in Scotland urged to promote use of face masks

Retailers in Scotland are being urged to display a poster at their entrance requesting shoppers to wear face coverings. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made the request following a decision to reopen most non-essential retail on Monday, June 29, with further restrictions eased from July 6. The Scottish Government has provided template posters and printable […]

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24.06

Scotland update: Restrictions eased from July 6

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a further easing of lockdown restrictions from July 6. She told Scottish Parliament today that outdoor hospitality such as beer gardens can reopen on Monday, July 6, while indoor pubs will be able to reopen on July 15 – with strict social distancing in place. Shopping centres will […]

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23.06

Hairdressers and hospitality set to reopen on July 4

Pubs, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers and hotels will be allowed to reopen on Saturday, July 4, it has been announced today (June 23). Prime Minister Boris Johnson also told the Commons that the 2m social distancing rule is to be reduced to 1m – where it is absolutely necessary, and safe, to do so. Hospitality will […]

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19.06

Bira members’ survey results helps extend government protection scheme

Bira has welcomed the decision to extend protection for businesses from aggressive debt collection. The extended measures will prevent struggling retailers from eviction until September. The protection was due to expire on June 30. The decision was made by the Government after Bira shared information supplied by you in a recent members’ survey. The survey […]

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19.06

Non-essential retailers in Wales to reopen on Monday

Non-essential shops in Wales will be allowed to reopen on Monday (June 22), it has been announced. The devolved government said shops would be allowed to trade as long as social distancing measures can be put in place. Shops in Northern Ireland reopened on June 12, and on June 15 in England. In Scotland, shops […]

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18.06

Shops in Scotland can reopen on June 29 – under strict conditions

Shops of all sizes in Scotland will be able to reopen from Monday, June 29 – as long as they have outdoor entrances and exits. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for non-essential retail under Phase 2 in Scottish Parliament this afternoon. She said that from June 29 retail premises of all sizes can re-open, […]

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16.06

Bira fights for retailers who missed out on Covid-19 support

Bira has vowed to continue to fight for retailers who have missed out on government support. The pledge follows the findings of the Treasury Select Committee that one million people had missed out on receiving any financial support during the pandemic. The committee’s report is supported by Bira’s own research which revealed many of you […]

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15.06

Government’s letter of thanks to retailers

Bira members – and the wider non-essential retail sector – have been thanked for reopening their doors this week. In an open letter to the retail sector, the Government Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Labour Markets Paul Scully thanks everyone for ‘rising to the challenges of Covid-19’. He also thanks those working in essential […]

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15.06

New guidance for retailers concerned about threat of Covid-related abuse

Bira Legal has put together a guide for retailers concerned about the increased threat of violence and abuse towards them, following the outbreak of Covid-19. Ellis Whittam -Bira’s legal partner – has created the guide after  a new survey indicated that violence and abuse of shop-workers has doubled in recent months. The poll was carried […]

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15.06

Task force launches new support for retailers

Bira members are urged to take advantage of some of the new support on offer from the High Street Task Force. The Government-funded group is offering a range of cutting-edge tools, training, information and advice for high streets across England as part of its efforts to reopen safely from today (June 15) and support their […]

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12.06

Will you be #OpenForBusiness?

Non-essential retailers are encouraged to post pictures on social media as they reopen from Monday (June 15) using the hashtag #OpenForBusiness. The Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is launching the campaign next week to encourage people to visit shops that are reopening and to help retailers let people know that they […]

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10.06

Non-essential retail can reopen on Monday, says Business Minister

Business Secretary Alok Sharma confirmed last night (June 9) that non-essential shops can reopen on Monday – as long as they are Covid-secure. He said retailers can open as long as they follow safety guidelines – and complete the required risk assessment – or they could face enforcement notices. He also said pubs, bars, restaurants […]

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09.06

Scottish grant scheme extended

Small retail businesses in Scotland, which share properties but do not pay business rates, are now eligible to apply for grants, it has been announced. The extension to the Small Business Grant Fund will apply to firms occupying shared office spaces, business incubators or shared industrial units and who lease the space from a registered, […]

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09.06

Reopening date confirmed for non-essential shops in Northern Ireland

Non-essential shops in Northern Ireland will be allowed to reopen from Friday, June 12, it has been confirmed. The Northern Ireland Economy Minister Diane Dodds confirmed that non-essential shops (except shopping centres) can re-open from Friday during a trip to Debenhams in Belfast city centre. She said it was a major step forward in the […]

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08.06

Bira opposed to proposed relaxation of Sunday trading laws

Bira has expressed concern for proposed relaxation of Sunday trading laws. Under plans being suggested by the Government, England could suspend Sunday trading laws for a year in a bid to boost the economy. However, Bira – who has added its support to the Keep Sunday Special campaign – is opposed to the proposals, saying […]

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04.06

Face coverings to be mandatory on public transport in England

Bira is urging its members to stock up on face coverings after the Government made them mandatory for use on public transport from June 15 in England. Tonight, Grant Shapps, Minister for Transport, announced that from mid-June, anyone travelling on public transport will be required to wear non-medical face coverings. Last month, Bira teamed up […]

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03.06

Business rates revaluation postponed in Wales

Bira has welcomed the decision by the Welsh Government to delay the revaluation of business rates.  The announcement follows a similar ruling made in England on May 6, which saw the Government scrap a bill to revaluate business rates in 2021. The decision to postpone the revaluation in England, made following pressure from Bira and […]

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03.06

Low footfall and consumer confidence top of members’ concerns

Low footfall and a lack of consumer confidence are some of your biggest concerns ahead of reopening on June 15. We conducted an exclusive members’ survey to gauge your feelings ahead of the reopening of non-essential retail later this month. Of those respondents, almost 50% said they planned to reopen on June 15. Only 2% […]

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02.06

Changes to the furlough scheme explained

On Friday (May 29), Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced some major changes to the Government’s furlough scheme. The scheme, which was set up in March following the outbreak of Covid-19 will end in October, and is being phased out gradually. But what does that mean for you and your employees? Here’s what you need to know […]

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01.06

Retail sector guidance published for Scotland

The Scottish Government has published its retail sector guidance to help prepare retail businesses to reopen. The guidance is applicable to all retailers in Scotland with immediate effect and includes the proposal that stores of all sizes will be able to open up to 800m squared of sales area from ‘Phase 2’ of their lockdown […]

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29.05

Furlough scheme update – phased end to government scheme

Business will be expected to contribute to the Government’s furlough scheme from September, it has been announced. Chancellor Rishi Sunak made the statement as part of the daily Covid-19 briefing tonight (Friday, May 29). From August, employers will be expected to pay for the National Insurance and pension contributions towards their employees wages. In September, […]

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29.05

Could there be changes to the Government furlough scheme?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to make an announcement about official changes to the furlough scheme imminently. It has been indicated he will ask businesses to contribute to their employees wages from August – approximately  20%. Under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme launched in March, employers can claim 80% of furloughed staff’s wages, up […]

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28.05

Bira welcomes £50m fund to prepare high streets for shoppers return

Bira has welcomed a new £50m boost to help local authorities prepare high streets for reopening. High Streets Minister Simon Clarke announced the fund for councils to help their local high streets get safely back to business earlier this week. The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund will help local authorities in England introduce a range […]

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26.05

Ready to reopen? Don’t forget your risk assessment

Independent retailers will only be able to open from June 15 if they have completed the required risk assessment, the Government has warned. The advice follows last night’s announcement that non-essential retailers will be able to open again following the countrywide lockdown which started on March 23, 2020. The risk assessment will need to be […]

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25.05

Non-essential retailers will be allowed to reopen from June 15

Non-essential retailers will be allowed to reopen from Monday, June 15, it has been announced tonight (Sunday, May 25). Boris Johnson said that car showrooms and street markets would be able to open from next week, followed by other retailers a fortnight later in the next phase of restriction lifting. However, Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre […]

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22.05

Free webinar will show you how to work safely

Independent retailers are invited to a free webinar about how to make your workplace covid-secure. The Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is hosting the online event on Thursday, May 28, from 11am. This webinar is designed to be relevant for shops and branches: • This guidance covers shops that are currently […]

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21.05

Restrictions to start being lifted in Scotland

Garden centres will be allowed to reopen in Scotland from next week under the first phase of restrictions being eased. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today that garden centres and recycling facilities will allowed to reopen, and outdoor activities such as golf, fishing, tennis and bowls will be permitted again from May 28. Outdoor […]

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20.05

When can you claim for Covid-19 Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?

Bira members looking to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments for employees absent because of Covid-19 will be able to do so from next week. HMRC’s new online portal will launch next Tuesday, May 26, as part of the Government’s package of support measures for small and medium-sized businesses affected by the pandemic. This […]

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19.05

Boost to business support for retailers in Northern Ireland

Bira members in Northern Ireland could be eligible for extra support after a further £213m rates package for businesses was announced today (Tuesday, May 19). Finance Minister Conor Murphy says the funds are in addition to the £100m scheme announced in March which gave all businesses a three month rates holiday. The new scheme, developed with […]

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14.05

Bira calls for clarity over government’s reopening guidance

Bira is calling for more clarity over new government guidance on the type of shops which can now reopen. According to a new document, homeware stores can now reopen along with garden centres, as of yesterday (Wednesday, May 13). The move follows Boris Johnson’s televised address to the nation on Sunday revealing a phased exit […]

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13.05

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – what you need to claim it

The Government’s online portal to claim from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opened this morning (Wednesday, May 13). Anyone eligible for this scheme should have received notification from HMRC via a letter, text message or email. To make an application, claimants will need: Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) – if you do not […]

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12.05

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to open

The online portal to apply for the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opens tomorrow (Wednesday, May 13). Those who may be eligible for the scheme should have received a text, letter or email from HMRC with details of the application process. It is understood that, if successful, the claim will be paid by May […]

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12.05

Furlough scheme extended until October

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has extended the furlough scheme until October. The announcement was made in Parliament this afternoon and means the Government will continue to pay 80% of wages, to a maximum of £2,500 a month, for furloughed staff. However, from August to October there will be greater flexibility so furloughed employees […]

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12.05

Learn how to use Instagram to boost business

Would you like to learn how to better communicate with your customers via Instagram? Bira members are invited to a free webinar to learn how to tell their business story through Instagram on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. The workshop is one of the latest events being organised by pioneering shopping app Localise, to help the […]

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12.05

Amefa launches dynamic new company to combat liquidation in tough trading times

With regret Amefa announces it’s likely liquidation on 13th May. However, they are delighted to announce that they have taken the decision to launch a dynamic new company Amefa GB Ltd to continue to supply their market leading products under their prestigious household brands Amefa and Richardson Sheffield. Amefa MD Richard Carr said: “ The […]

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11.05

Reopening indies must be part of first phase of exit plan, says Bira

‘Independent retail businesses can offer a safe shopping environment and will help keep people within their local communities’, says the head of Bira. Andrew Goodacre is calling for small independent shops to reopen during the first phase of lifting lockdown restrictions outlined in government documents this afternoon (Tuesday, May 11). He says that a shop’s […]

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10.05

Shops could reopen from June 1, says Boris Johnson

Independent retailers could be allowed to reopen from June 1, Boris Johnson said in a televised statement tonight (Sunday, May 10). The Prime Minister set out tentative steps to ease the countrywide lockdown in his address to the nation. As part of the announcement, he said shops could be able to reopen from June 1 […]

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07.05

Warning over furlough scheme ‘errors’

Small retail businesses are warned they could have to pay thousands back to HMRC for making errors on applications for the Government’s furlough scheme, according to an accountancy journal. A report in Accountancy Today says that many small business applications includes the cost of their Employer’s National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for furloughed employees. However, for […]

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