Latest news from Bira

02 Dec 2020

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 retailers need certainty with regards to rates, and need to avoid the prospect of full rates returning in April
  • The current legal moratorium regarding rent debt needs to be extended, and landlords (and tenants) need to start discussing the best way forward
  • Headlines tend to focus on the large retail failures, but there are thousands of smaller independent retailers struggling after lockdowns. These businesses need support to help with their cash flow
  • The Government should consider a stimulus to encourage shoppers back to the high streets
  • Many smaller retailers have been agile and created a stronger digital platform. They need help in terms of grants and expertise to make the most of the internet opportunity

Andrew said: "Bira was delighted to take part in a meeting with Paul Scully to discuss the challenges faced by independent retailers. This was an important opportunity to help the Government to understand how independent retail works.

"The meeting was beneficial and we look forward to maintaining communications with the Minister and his team."

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