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27.01

Join the fight for extension to business rates holiday

The Prime Minister has announced that there will be no further review of lockdown measures until at least March 8, 2020. This means we are on the verge of marking the one-year anniversary since the first lockdown in England, which closed all non-essential retail. In that time, so-called non-essential traders have only been allowed to […]

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27.01

Lockdown in England extended until at least March 8

Boris Johnson announced that lockdown measures will remain in place until at least March 8, 2021. He made the announcement in the House of Commons today (Wednesday, January 27, 2021), which means an extension of restrictions for at least another three weeks. These measures include the closure of all non-essential retail. However, he also pledged […]

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22.01

Updated guidance for retailers in Wales

Further guidance has been published to ensure retailers in Wales maintain safe working environments through the pandemic.  The Welsh Government has advised that all businesses and premises must carry out a Covid risk assessment and for that to involve consultation with staff and representatives and be made available to staff. The Government’s amendments reflect concerns […]

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22.01

Largest annual fall in retail sales, says ONS report

UK retail sales suffered the largest annual fall on record, it was announced this morning (Friday, January 22, 2021). The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has released its retail sales figures for December and for 2020. It reveals that Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the high street, with much trade being done online. […]

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21.01

Laws passed to protect retail staff from abuse in Scotland

Scottish Parliament has passed new laws to protect retail staff from abuse and attacks from customers. The Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill – which was passed yesterday (January 20, 2021) will now make it a new specific offence to assault, abuse or threaten retail staff. And if this takes […]

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20.01

Indies want to help take economy forward, Bira tells new Business Minister

Bira is appealing to the newly-appointed Minister for Business for extra support for independent retailers through the pandemic. CEO Andrew Goodacre has written to Kwasi Kwarteng, who has taken over from Alok Sharma, as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. In his letter, Andrew writes that while he sees a bright future […]

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21.01

Open letter to retailers reminds of safety protocols

Bira has written an open letter to all retailers urging them to revisit safety protocols. The letter from CEO Andrew Goodacre says the sector is in the most fragile state, as ‘non-essential’ retail remains closed across the UK. It calls on all retailers to revisit safety practices in a bid to stop any further lockdowns, […]

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21.01

Government must up support for indies, says Bira CEO

Independent retail businesses need Government support more than ever if they are to survive the pandemic, says Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre. Andrew called for more support – including the extension of the business rates holiday – in an interview with the London Evening Standard. He was one of a number of business chiefs appealing to […]

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19.01

Scottish lockdown until mid-February

Lockdown restrictions in Scotland will remain in place until at least mid-February, it has been announced. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that the curbs would continue in a bid to beat the coronavirus pandemic. It includes the closure of all non-essential retail and restrictions over click and collect. More from the Scottish Government here Additional […]

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19.01

Bira welcomes supreme court ruling over Covid insurance payouts

Bira has welcomed a supreme court ruling that could see thousands of small businesses forced to close during the Covid-19 pandemic receive payouts on insurance claims worth more than £1bn. According to The Guardian, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which brought the test case, said it would now be working with insurers to ensure they […]

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15.01

Retail staff should be priority for Covid vaccine, says Bira

Proposals to prioritise retail staff for early immunisation against Covid-19 have been backed by Bira. Company CEO Andrew Goodacre has said he is ‘very supportive’ of plans which could see public-facing shop staff receive coronavirus vaccines sooner rather than later. Shop staff are one of the groups of workers including teachers and police employees recognised […]

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15.01

New rules for Welsh retailers announced

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has set out new rules for retailers following concern supermarket shopping was increasing the spread of coronavirus. Mr Drakeford said shops in Wales would have to install signs reminding shoppers to socially distance. Speaking at the Welsh Government’s Covid briefing on Friday (January 15, 2021), Mr Drakeford said the Test, […]

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15.01

Five-point plan to save indie retail sector gets Bira’s support

Bira is backing a new five-point plan to help the independent retail sector through the pandemic. Pivot Point Consultancy has put together the plan and sent it to Kwasi Kwarteng at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategey (BEIS) and other relevant Ministers. It outlines the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the independent retail […]

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14.01

Scottish click and collect: What are the exemptions?

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon imposed more curbs on retail and other activities yesterday (Wednesday, January 13, 2021) in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country. The move included the prohibition of some click and collect services, as well as a ban on customers entering a takeaway to collect an order. […]

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13.01

Scotland curbs some types of ‘non-essential’ click and collect

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has banned some types of ‘non-essential’ click and collect in a further tightening of restrictions. Ms Sturgeon announced the move this afternoon after reports over the weekend that prohibition of click and collect was being considered. Other restrictions include a ban on drinking outdoors, and customers being banned from going […]

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12.01

Supermarkets to ban customers refusing to wear face covering

Tesco, ASDA, and Waitrose have joined Morrisons and Sainsbury’s in saying they will ban customers who refuse to wear a mask unless medically exempt. Yesterday, Morrisons became the first supermarket to make the decision with Sainsbury’s following suit. They have both said they will ban customers who refuse to wear a face covering when they […]

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12.01

Retailer puts spotlight on grant ‘anomaly’ which killed her business

Bira is backing a new campaign to once again highlight an ‘anomaly’ in government grant funding, which meant indies missed out on £15,000 Covid-19 cash. Retailer Mel Sims had to close her business The Nurture Barn last year after missing out on £15,000 cash due to an ‘anomaly’. In original government documentation, businesses with a […]

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11.01

Bira backs campaign to keep all click and collect open in Scotland

Bira has added its voice to a campaign to allow ‘non-essential’ retailers in Scotland to continue click and collect services. According to reports, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is considering banning all click and collect services under tighter restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus. However, Bira has joined the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) in a […]

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10.01

Question mark over click and collect in Scotland

Click and collect services could be prohibited in Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said. It has been reported in the Scottish and national press that Ms Sturgeon is considering banning click and collect while coronavirus cases continue to rise. The Daily Record was just one title to report her concerns here Click and collect […]

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08.01

Safety protocols must be maintained to avoid further lockdowns, says Bira

Bira is reminding members of the importance of maintaining the highest level of safety protocols during the coronavirus pandemic. Measures include encouraging your customers to wear a face covering while inside the shop – a requirement that became mandatory on July 24, 2020. If a customers enters your premises without a face covering we recommend: […]

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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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08.01

Deadline approaching to claim from self-employed grant scheme

The deadline for Bira members classed as self-employed to claim from a government grant scheme is looming. Members have until January 29, 2021, to make a claim for the third Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. To qualify, your business must have been impacted by coronavirus on or after November 1, 2020. You can make a claim […]

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08.01

Abolish business rates until 2022, says Bira

Bira is calling for business rates to be abolished for another year following a damning report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealing the true impact of Covid-19 on shopper footfall. The BRC released its ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor for December 2020. Key findings include: Total year on year footfall for 2020 fell by 43.4%. Year on […]

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08.01

Welsh lockdown to remain in place until at least January 29

The Welsh Government has extended current lockdown measures until at least January 29, 2020, it has been announced. A statement from Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Following a formal review of the alert level four lockdown restrictions, which were introduced at midnight on December 19, all the measures will remain in place.” The measures […]

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07.01

Bira calls on government to make baby goods stores ‘essential’

Bira is calling on the Government to make shops selling baby goods ‘essential’. Retailers selling predominantly baby goods are currently deemed ‘non-essential’ in England, and are required to close in the latest national lockdown. This is despite it being against the law for a newborn to leave hospital without a car seat – a fact recognised in […]

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05.01

What are the rules?: Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

England went into a new national lockdown from midnight on Monday (January 4, 2021), which meant the closure of all non-essential retail. However, what is the situation in the devolved nations? Here we look at the rules for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland… Scotland From Tuesday, January 5, mainland Scotland will move from Level 4 […]

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05.01

Bira concerned Treasury’s funding package will not be enough to sustain retailers

Bira has voiced concerns the Treasury’s £4.6 billion will not sustain retailers through the new national lockdown in England. Today (Tuesday, January 5, 2021), the Chancellor announced a raft of measures to help retailers and other businesses impacted by the new lockdown. The measures were announced by the Prime Minister last night as part of […]

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05.01

Treasury announces £4.6 billion in lockdown grants

The Treasury has announced a new package of funding worth £4.6 billion to help retailers through the new national lockdown measures. Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000, the Chancellor announced today (Tuesday, January 5). This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement last night that […]

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05.01

New national lockdown in England announced

Non-essential retail across England must now shut as part of a new national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. Boris Johnson announced the measures last night (Monday, January 4), urging people to stay at home and only leave their houses for essential purposes. As part of the wide reaching measures the following businesses must […]

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23.12

Tier 4 announcements England: Which businesses must close?

The Government announced today that more areas of England will be moved into tier 4 restrictions as of Saturday 26th December. To see a full list of local restrictions by area click here. Under tier 4 restrictions all non-essential shops, hairdressers, and leisure and entertainment venues must close with a new “stay at home” message […]

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19.12

Closing ‘non-essential’ retail in London and South East tonight ‘disastrous’ for businesses, says Bira

Bira says closing non-essential retail in London and the South East from midnight tonight (Saturday) under new coronavirus restrictions is ‘disastrous for businesses’. Boris Johnson announced that London and the South East will be plunged into a new tier 4 of restrictions in a statement this afternoon. The announcement included the introduction of other measures […]

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18.12

Northern Ireland to close non-essential retail after Christmas Eve trade

Northern Ireland will go back into lockdown – including the closure of non-essential retail – after Christmas Eve trade, it has been announced. All non-essential retail and close-contact services such as beauty salons are to close, with pubs, cafes and restaurants restricted to takeaway services. As in Wales, non-essential retail will close after trading finishes […]

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18.12

Furlough and financial support schemes extended

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has extended the furlough and other financial support schemes until April 30, 2021, it has been announced.  Rishi Sunak added an extra month for retailers to claim from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – the previous deadline had been March 31, 2020. The extension has been made to reflect the […]

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18.12

Further details released for Welsh lockdown

The Welsh Government has released further details for retailers following the announcement that non-essential shops will have to close after Christmas Eve trading. The following detail have been made available to Bira: Non-essential shops will close after close of trade on December 24, 2020 The definition of non-essential is the same as before (during the […]

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16.12

Non-essential retail in Wales to close after Christmas Eve trading for new lockdown

The Welsh Government has announced non-essential retail will have to shut after Christmas Eve trading in a new countrywide lockdown. The First Minister made the statement today (December 16) as part of measures to curb rising coronavirus cases. He said that after the short Christmas period of more flexible restrictions ends on December 28, Wales […]

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15.12

Protecting your retail business through Christmas and beyond

We hope that Christmas trade has been brisk and you are continuing to offer your customers a safe and pleasant shopping experience. Looking forward, Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre, discusses ways to protect your retail business through Christmas and beyond, even if there are further restrictions or lockdowns. Tips include: Making sure you have a click […]

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15.12

London placed under tightest restrictions ahead of countrywide tier review

London will be placed under the tightest level of Covid tier restrictions from 00.01 on Wednesday (December 16, 2020), ahead of a countrywide review later in the day. The restrictions, put in place to curb rising numbers of coronavirus cases, means that while retail can remain open, hospitality and leisure venues must close, along with […]

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10.12

Excellence in Housewares Award Winners 2020

Celebrating the winners of The Excellence in Housewares Awards 2020 Organised by Progressive Housewares magazine and sponsored by Bira, the Excellence in Housewares awards took place virtually for the first time on December 9, which brought together 100s of members of the housewares industry from around the UK and across the globe. The awards were […]

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11.12

Last chance to enter the Bira Direct Christmas display competition

The Bira Direct Christmas display competition closes for entries on Monday 14th December… So if you haven’t already entered there are only a few short days to get your entries in. All you have to do to enter is to send an email of your Christmas display to info@biradirect.co.uk under the subject line “Bira Christmas Display Competition” […]

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10.12

Apply for third grant under Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Bira members who are classed as self-employed have until January 29, 2021, to claim from a government grant scheme. To make a claim for the third Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, your business must have been impacted by coronavirus on or after November 1, 2020. You can make a claim for the third grant if you’re […]

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09.12

Retail tenants protected against eviction until March 2021

Bira has expressed delight the Government has extended protection to retail tenants against aggressive eviction until March 2021. The decision follows pressure from Bira and the Independent Retail Consortium on the Government to offer extra protection for retailers following the challenges of Covid-19 in 2020. Last week, Bira was part of a virtual meeting with […]

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09.12

Scottish shops to reopen on Friday

Scottish shops under the tightest restrictions will reopen from Friday morning, following an announcement from the First Minister. Nicola Sturgeon said they had carried out the latest review of the Scottish coronavirus restrictions.  In her announcement she: Confirmed all 11 local authorities currently in Level 4 would move into Level 3 on Friday (City of […]

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03.12

New guidance for fashion retailers

The Government has updated its guidance for fashion retailers with regards to returned goods and operating changing rooms. The Working Safely during Coronavirus Shops and Branches guidance has been updated today (December 3, 2020), lifting certain restrictions for retail businesses. The new advice says that returned clothes no longer need to be quarantined for 48 […]

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02.12

Indies set for £3.5 billion spending boost as Brits shop local this Christmas

The independent retail sector is in line for a £3.5 billion spending boost, after new research has shown that 66% of Brits plan to shop locally this Christmas. The research, which has been conducted by Bira and Starling Bank, reveals: Community-minded: The UK is home to more than 400,000 independent stores. When asked why they […]

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02.12

Bira Direct announce new supplier TB Davies

Cardiff based ladder supplier TB Davies are the latest supplier to join Bira Direct. TB Davies are a company with heritage spanning four generations and celebrate their 75th anniversary this year, supplying products for working at a height. TB Davies have a modern three and a half acre facility in Cardiff Bay where they ensure […]

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02.12

Government announces 2021 National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW)

Following the Chancellor’s statement on 25 Nov, the Government has now announced the 2021 National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW), accepting the LPC’s recommendations in full. The 2021 National Living Wage (NLW) will reach £8.91, an increase of 2.2 per cent. Commissioners remain committed to the Government’s goal of ending low pay. […]

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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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26.11

Bira members are top of the shops!

Two Bira members won awards in Britain’s Best Small Shop competition. Small Stuff UK in Crookes, Sheffield, and Nourish in Topsham, Exeter, won best innovator during Covid, and runner-up shop of the year, respectively. The top prize was won by Cornucopia, a family run, independent, home and gift shop in Worcester. Cornucopia, whose ethos is […]

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