News

20 Jan 2021

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.

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In his letter, Andrew writes that while he sees a bright future for the independent retail sector, the following support will be required:

  • Extension to the business rates holiday after April 2021. He suggests using some of the money returned by some of the large essential retailers who benefited from the most recent rates holiday (estimated to be at least £3bn)
  • A further extension of the existing rent moratorium that is due to end on March 31, 2021. He says another three months after this is the minimum requirement
  • Extension of the interest-free period for business loans made available at the start of the crisis.

He writes: "Independent businesses are businesses agile, smart and really understand their market and customers. They are integral parts of the community, employing local people of all ages. They want to play their part in moving the economy forward, given the opportunity to do so. The measures I am proposing give them that opportunity."


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