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25.09

EKM report: COVID-19 | The Impact on UK Businesses

We’ve seen that the UK has been affected economically by the coronavirus already, with many businesses and individuals seeking support from the Government as the UK went into lockdown. There have been many projections and estimations about how severely the UK has been affected by this however, this EKM report focuses on the opinions and […]

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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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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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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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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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03.09

John Lewis open’s Christmas shop early – should you?

Department store giant John Lewis has signalled the ‘official’ launch of Christmas by opening it’s online Christmas shop 10 days earlier than last year. In a statement to the Guardian newspaper Jason Billings-Cray, John Lewis’s Christmas buyer, said: “Christmas always provides a reason for celebration and a welcome break. Understandably, it looks as if people […]

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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

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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10.08

Leadership programmes for SMEs launched

Two new programmes for small businesses have been launched. Both programmes aim to support business leaders survive and thrive post-COVID. Small Business Leadership Programme Make your business more resilient Boost business performance and growth Create an innovative and agile organisation Recover from the impact of COVID-19 Plan for the future of your business Build leadership […]

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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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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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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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15.07

Mastercard and Visa could be ordered to pay back £15.4bn to UK merchants

Mastercard and Visa could be ordered to pay back UK merchants a total of 17bn Euros (£15.4bn), the Supreme Court has ruled. Following a ruling in the UK yesterday (Tuesday, July 14, 2020), both MasterCard and Visa suffered heavy defeats as the Supreme Court ruled in favour of merchants. The case was led by Sainsbury’s and […]

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14.07

Mandatory masks: What you need to know

It will be made mandatory for shoppers in England to wear face coverings from July 24, the Government has announced. Those who fail to comply with the new rules will face a fine of up to £100, the Government is to announce. Children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt. The move […]

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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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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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