Self-isolation period reduced from 14 to 10 days

The Government has announced a change to the self-isolation period from 14 to 10 days.

People who return from countries which are not on the travel corridor list should also self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days.

People who test positive should continue to self-isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms or 10 days from point of taking a positive test if asymptomatic.

Read the Government’s full statement here


Additional Guidance and Resources

Retailers granted more flexibility in opening hours

Bira’s 5-step guide to Covid-secure reopening

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

Last chance to enter the Bira Direct Christmas display competition

Bira Direct Window 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” OR Tag or DM us a picture of your display on social media using the #BiraChristmasComp before the 14th December 2020. 

Facebook  

Instagram 

The Prizes

First Prize will receive a £200 voucher to spend with Bira Direct this will be judged by Bira and be judged on creativity and originality.

First runner up will win a £100 voucher for Bira Direct and the second runner up will win a £50 voucher. The winners will be decided via public vote on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

In the next stage of the competition we’ll be narrowing down entries to a shortlist of 10 businesses which will be put to a public vote via our Facebook and Instagram accounts between the 15th-22nd December! All UK votes will be put to a raffle to win some spectacular prizes from Bira Direct suppliers.

We’d like to thank our Bira Direct suppliers for supplying such spectacular prizes for our Christmas hamper. To find out more about these suppliers including how to order products click on the buttons below.


  • WIN – Festive cake tins from Dexam

Dexam


  • WIN – 230v tri-base sander and rotary multi tool kit from Draper

Draper


  • WIN Home Coir Doormat 40x70cm,  Soft Touch Clothing Hangers, Polka Dot Storage Baskets, Malham Fireside Companion Set from JVL

JVL


  • WIN Harris decorating hamper including products from the ultimate range!

LG Harris

 


 

  • WIN – Indoor/Outdoor LED torch, LED bluetooth speaker, Smart power adapter, smart power socket, cable lead extension from Luceco.

Luceco


We’d also like to thank all the businesses that have entered the competition so far! We’ve had fantastic entries from pet shops, to cook shops, fashion stores and health food shops and we can’t wait to share them with you when we launch the voting stage of the competition.

For the latest offers and updates from Bira Direct, visit the festive offers hub below. These offers are updated on a daily basis, so remember to bookmark this area as not to miss out on the latest offers. Or alternatively see the latest updates by following us on social media.

Festive Hub
LinkedIn Twitter

If you have any questions or need more information email us at info@biradirect.co.uk. Or if you’d like to find out more on how to start making the most of Bira Direct click here.


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 eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first or second.

You must meet all the eligibility criteria to claim the third grant. Make sure you check this before submitting your claim.

To make the claim, you will need your:

  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password
  • UK bank details including account number, sort code, name on the account and address linked to the account

Only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted.

You may also need to answer questions about your passport, driving licence or information held on your credit file.

The claim must be made between November 20, 2020, and January 29, 2021.

Find out more, and apply, here


Additional Guidance and Resources

Deadline to apply for SEISS grant approaching

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

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

Chancellor extends furlough scheme until March 2021

Not a Bira member? Join today

Bira ‘delighted’ to renew partnership with Ellis Whittam legal services

employment law, bira legal, dealing with disciplinary matters

Bira has announced its new three-year partnership agreement with Ellis Whittam, the Employment Law, HR, and Health & Safety specialist.

The tie-up – building on a longstanding relationship between the organisations – means Bira members have access to a dedicated on-call legal advisory service, as well as a range of online tools and templates, to assist them through the current operating challenges brought about by Covid-19 and beyond.

As part of Bira’s mission to enable a level playing field for independent retailers of any size, Ellis Whittam will help its members to stay on top of changing legislation, maintain legal compliance, and uphold best practice in their duty of care as employers.

A library of guidance documents is available via the Bira website and members can contact a dedicated ‘Bira Legal’ advisory team via telephone or email to seek advice around Employment Law, HR and Health & Safety challenges arising from both business-as-usual operations as well as the consequences of coronavirus. All advisors are qualified professionals who will provide up-to-date advice and support that is bespoke to each member and their circumstances.

Jeff Moody, Commercial Director at Bira, said: “Working with more than 6,500 independent businesses of all sizes, it’s our goal to make every member feel supported, informed and inspired. We help to take the strain out of running an independent business and so are delighted to deepen our relationship with Ellis Whittam, to ensure our members can access vital assistance when they need it.

“If we don’t offer the very best support, people vote by not retaining their membership fees. By working with Ellis Whittam, we know we’re offering best-in-class advice as well as removing the cost to members of employing their own HR consultants.”

Gavin Snell, CEO at Ellis Whittam, added: “Our team is proud to be supporting Bira and its members. Particularly at this time, when we can give the correct support in a challenging and complex employment environment. Ellis Whittam’s advisory service for members will help retail business owners and managers to feel supported, not just with the challenges of people management into next year, but in ensuring their business practices remain Covid-secure.”

Ellis Whittam counts more than 35,000 businesses and organisations across the UK among its customers. It also works in partnership with several other trade associations and professional membership organisations such as the NPA (National Pharmacy Association), NHF (National Hairdressers & Beauticians Association), Propertymark and ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations), supporting their thousands of members.

Find out more about Bira Legal here


Additional Guidance and Resources

Global Payments support Bira members over recent months

Bira fights for indie retailers in meeting with business minister

Bira urges shoppers to get back on to the high street

Get ready to reopen your retail business on December 2

Bira’s 5-step guide to Covid-secure reopening

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

 

Bira member Wild Oats marks 40th anniversary

Bira member Wild Oats – Bristol’s oldest independent health store – has celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Here, owner Mike Abrahams shares his journey to the landmark birthday.

In late 1979 Mike and his Dutch girlfriend Loes were both working at the European Space Technology Centre in Noordwijk. A desire to make a living in a more sustainable and environmentally sound way spurred them on to take over a small health food store in 1980. A store that is regarded as a Bristol institution and a pioneer in its field, Wild Oats Natural Foods.

Fast forward to January 2021 and the independent health store is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

So how has it grown from the small delicatessen it once was to the health hub of the community it is today?

Mike and Loes have always had a passion for good nutrition and wholefoods so their knowledge of health products was second-to-none. But there weren’t many health shops around when they took over Wild Oats in 1980, so navigating that gap in the market was no easy feat. Before its opening in 1981, the store closed for 6 months while a team of friends and family worked tirelessly to refurbish it. Shelves were stocked with natural foods mostly imported from Holland as they weren’t readily available in the UK at the time and a pioneering self-service area was hand built. This self-service area meant customers could fill their own containers to reduce waste, and now even the big supermarkets have followed Wild Oats’ lead by installing their own self-service areas.

Over the 40 years Wild Oats has welcomed people from all walks of life, and as well as providing a vast range of healthy foods and products, has helped countless people with a plethora of conditions that conventional medicine and diets have failed, not to mention the various local charities. They even have their own success story, with Mike himself managing to recover from a debilitating illness utilising the wide range of natural foods and products from the store. The store is a vital part of the local community, serving both the people of Redland and Clifton and in running various talks and workshops about health and natural medicine alongside helping local suppliers and businesses grow far beyond the local area.

Wild Oats has grown but still maintains the same original ethos and now, more so than ever, the store is here to help everyone by offering free dietary and nutritional advice that gives you the power to take responsibility for your own health.

During Covid-19, Wild Oats set up a local delivery and collection service to ensure those who are unable to come directly to store can still access their essentials, likewise their newly revamped e-Commerce site is available to help those around the country.

Wild Oats continues to pioneer new tastes and trends in the health food market and is already preparing for the future. As they see the world adapting, Wild Oats will be there as it has been for 40 years, to help those on their journey. Whether it’s for Veganuary, ethical or dietary reasons, Wild Oats will help you live better. So, drop by and see why this fantastic independent business has been an institution for Bristol’s Vegetarian and Vegan community for so long.

Visit the Wild Oats website here

Got a story to share? Email emily.bridgewater@bira.co.uk


Additional Guidance and Resources

Lords at Home appoints new MD

Looking for more members’ stories? Read the Bira magazine online

Interested in using Bira Direct? Find out more

Should you expand your presence in the at-home market?

Not yet a member? Join Bira now

 

 

Retail tenants protected against eviction until March 2021

Sell online with EKM ecommerce website builder for small business

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 Minister Paul Scully, where the issue of the rent moratorium was raised.

The moratorium was originally extended until the September 30, 2020, then it was given a further extension until the end of 2020. Evictions will now be banned until March 31, 2021.

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick said: “This support is for the businesses struggling the most during the pandemic, such as those in hospitality,  however, those that are able to pay their rent should do so.”

He added: “We are witnessing a profound adjustment in commercial property. It is critical that landlords and tenants across the country use the coming months to reach agreements on rent wherever possible and enable viable businesses to continue to operate.”

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “Bira is delighted by the decision to extend the rent moratorium. We have been asking for this because of the challenges faced by independent retailers on the high street. We hope this leads to constructive discussions between tenants and landlords to find a positive solution when the moratorium ends in March 2021.”

Read the Government statement here


Additional Guidance and Resources

Bira meets with business ministers to fight for concerns of indies

Extra support needed for retailers to meet rent demands, says Bira

Covid cash remains unallocated – don’t miss out

More details of COVID-19 financial support

Need further advice? Bira Legal can help

Not a member? Join Bira – for just £149 

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 Glasgow, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, East and West Dunbartonshire, North and South Lanarkshire, East and South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian)
  • Retailers in those local authorities will be able to open at 06:00 on Friday, a change from the previous announcement of 18:00.
  • Clackmannanshire, Dundee, Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian, North Ayrshire, and Perth & Kinross will all remain in Level 3
  • Inverclyde, Falkirk and Angus will move into level 2, joining Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, Argyll & Bute
  • The Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway enter Level 1, joining Highland, Moray, Western Isles, Orkney, Shetland

According to the Scottish Retail Consortium:

  • Scottish Ministers are worried about a shopping surge this coming weekend, in particular customers travelling into Glasgow and key retail destinations, so best to be aware of this as retailers consider their preparations for re-opening
  • The Scottish Government is also looking at banning shops from playing music in line with similar restrictions on hospitality venues, this is likely to be put into guidance in the coming days.
  • The ‘weekly review’ on December 15 is likely to be the last until into January (notwithstanding the Christmas bubble arrangements being held on a combined four home nation basis). Both before and after the Christmas bubble arrangements the Level is expected to remain the same.

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Permitting shops in the 11 local lockdown areas to effectively re-open a day earlier than planned is as welcome as it is sensible. It should help spread out shopper numbers over the coming weekend and make for a safer shopping experience for customers and for staff.

“Hundreds of Scottish stores are looking forward to welcoming back customers on Friday. The run up to Christmas is crunch time for many retailers, with one in every eight pounds traditionally spent in December. It will be an undoubted struggle to make up for the lost revenue following the past three weeks of forced closure, however many retailers are extending opening hours, offering discounts, and looking at other ways to create an enjoyable and safe shopping experience and bring back customers.

“Celebrations will be a little different this year, but we all want to keep Christmas special. To avoid disappointment, and to keep everyone as safe as possible, we are encouraging people not to leave their shopping – in-store or online – to the last minute. Shoppers can play their part by adhering to the rules on face-coverings, social distancing and hand-sanitising.

“The public can do their Christmas shopping confident that retail operations are Covid-secure and retailers are doing everything possible to keep them safe, and bringing forward re-opening is a welcome vote of confidence in that effort. With plenty of gifts and other festive items on offer, everyone can shop in the knowledge that every purchase we make is a retailer and supplier helped, a job protected and a local community supported.”


Additional Guidance and Support

Eleven councils in Scotland put under tightest restrictions

Scottish Government publish guidance for retailers

New tier system for Scotland

Tighter restrictions to be introduced in Scotland

Bira angry over Welsh Government U-turn on ‘essential’ stores

Wales lockdown: Which businesses can stay open? (updated 22/10/2020)

Wales to impose two-week circuit breaker lockdown

Forced mass closure of shops for circuit breaker would be devastating, says Bira

Is a national circuit breaker the answer?

Join Bira today for £149

New Supplier EKO

Bira Direct are excited to announce new supplier: EKO.  EKO UK was launched in 2018 and distribution has been growing rapidly thanks to its leading market leading innovation: from award-winning pedal & sensor recycling bins to antibacterial food waste caddies, no-touch sensor soap dispensers, sensor mirrors and more. Research and development are at the centre of EKO’s design process, with a constant focus on new and innovative products.

EKO UK is based in Marlow, with a warehouse in Leicester. Their factory is SEDEX certified, with high standards of labour, health & safety and environmental protection.

EKO  See the product range here

EKO are also promoting an introductory offer, exclusive for Bira members valid until 31.01.2021.

View the offer 

Featured products

Ecocasa Recycling Bin

The EKO Ecocasa recycling bin is the perfect choice for busy and eco-friendly families. Available in a selection of different sizes (20+20L 15+15+15L and 15+15L) and colours. Each model has removable, colour coded inner buckets to make recycling simple and cleaning easy.
Made of high quality fingerprint resistant, brushed stainless steel to give a refined finish.
Inside each bucket is a bag holder function allowing bags to be kept secure and the bin rim to be kept looking neat and tidy with no messy overhang.
The shape of the bin has been kept sleek and will fit flat against walls to save space.

Features include:

• High quality brushed stainless steel
• Space efficient design, fits perfectly against a wall
• Two colour coded, removable inner buckets with handles, to help easily separate your waste
• Slim, stay open lid
• Durable pedal mechanism and soft close lid
• Fingerprint resistant
• Bin bag fixer holds any size bag in place. So no more shopping around for the perfect bin liners
• 3 year guarantee

 

Aroma Sensor Soap Dispenser

The EKO Aroma sensor soap dispenser is the stylish and convenient solution for no touch, hygienic hand washing. Adjustable to customise the amount of soap dispensed.  Transparent window shows you when to refill with your favourite liquid soap via the simple touch open lid.  Fully rechargeable, using the USB cable supplied – so no need for batteries.

Features include:

  • Motion sensor for convenient and hygienic hands-free operation
  • Quick dispensing (0.2 seconds)
  • Adjustable setting to customise amount of soap dispensed
  • Liquid soap capacity of 250ml
  • Clear viewing strip to monitor soap levels
  • Touch open lid pops up for easy refills
  • High quality fingerprint resistant finish
  • Skid resistant base
  • Rechargeable via USB (cable included)
  • 1 year guarantee
  • Available in Dark Grey or Stainless Steel

If you’re a Bira member and want to take advantage of preferential terms available to you through Bira Direct, click on the button below to find out more.
Bira Direct

If you’re not yet a Bira member but want to take advantage of the preferential terms and supplier offers, join today from just £149+VAT. Click below, email membership@bira.co.uk or call 0800 028 0245.


 

Masons Timber Update

Masons Timber Update

Bira Direct supplier Masons Timber Products announce that from January 2021 that the Mason’s Timber product portfolio will be absorbed into the Richard Burbridge brand and price list, widening the breadth of products available.

In December Mason’s Timber will be we will be launching a new website with increased functionality to further improve your experience, service and support.
In January we will be re-focusing the Masons Timber brand on the specialist coffin manufacturing sector and in turn absorbing the product portfolio within the Richard Burbidge brand.

Therefore, in December Mason’s Timber will be distributing a new Richard Burbidge branded price list to reflect the updated product offer and this new list will also be inclusive of a price realignment on all products to be implemented from the 11th January 2021. The price realignment is due to an upward trend in logistical and raw material costs that we can no longer continue to absorb. All orders received by Friday 8th January for delivery within 10 days of the price realignment will be invoiced at pre realignment prices.

Read the full letter here.

To find out more about Masons Timber please click on the button below.
Masons Timber

 

If you’re a Bira member and want to take advantage of preferential terms available to you through Bira Direct, click on the button below to find out more.
Bira Direct

If you’re not yet a Bira member but want to take advantage of the preferential terms and supplier offers, join today from just £149+VAT. Click below, email membership@bira.co.uk or call 0800 028 0245.


 

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 hours.

It states: “The guidance that items that have been returned, donated, or brought in for repair should be stored in a container or separate room for 48 hours or cleaned before display has been removed.”

However, if changing rooms are being operated, clothes which have been tried on must still be quarantined for 48 hours.

Read the full guidance here

The guidance is the same in Welsh fashion retailers. More here

  • There’s also been a slight change to the guidance on Tier 3 restrictions for pubs, takeaways and restaurants. Customers can enter the premises to place or collect any type of order between 5am and 11pm. Read the full guidance here

Additional Guidance and Resources

It’s all change – What you need to know about reopening changing rooms

Bira fights for indie retailers in meeting with business minister

‘Don’t turn your back on indie fashion retailers’, says Bira

Bira urges shoppers to get back on to the high street

Bira’s 5-step guide to Covid-secure reopening

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

 

Global Payments support Bira members over recent months

card security

Global Payments, providers of the card processing service for Bira members, have shown support for Bira members over the last few months. The support has included the suspension of the minimum monthly activity fee, a charge all card providers will implement when minimum spends are not met.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO says: “We’re delighted the partnership has provided much needed support for our members. We saw the need for Bira to step in with financial and educational support and advice amongst a lot of confusion for the industry and Global Payments have helped us provide this.”

Over the last few months the support has included:

Suspension of Monthly Minimum Activity Fee

Whilst many members had to close their stores, if they contacted Global Payments to let them know, they suspended their monthly minimum activity fee*.

 

Reduced headline rates for credit cards

Global Payments reduced members credit card headline rate by an average of 6% for all Bira members using the service. This was a permeant change so members will continue to benefit from further reduced rates.

 

Removal of the PCI service fee

They removed the fee for using the Global Fortress PCI service, saving a minimum of £3.50 every month. This was also a permeant change so members will continue to benefit from no PCI compliance charge.

If you’re using the Global Payments service though Bira membership, and have a PCI non-compliance fee listed on your statement, it means that you’re not PCI compliant, which is a risk to your business. Get in touch with Global Payments on 0345 702 3344 to become compliant, protect your business and avoid being charged in the future.

 

No subscription fees with Paylink Mobile

With Paylink Mobile, you can offer your customers click & collect or home delivery by sharing secure payment links through messaging apps, emails or social media. Plus, you’ll only pay for the transactions you process until 1st March 2021^.

 

Find out more

Click the button below to find out more about the Global Payments service for Bira members including the preferential and competitive rates for credit and debit cards which could save your businesses money.

 

Find out more about the Global Payments service

*Offer was valid until June 2020

^The subscription fee for PayLink Mobile will not be charged up to and including 28/02/2021. All other applicable charges for transactions taken apply. We reserve the right to withdraw this offer at any time. Standard Global Payments terms of service apply.

 

Global Payments is HSBC’s preferred supplier for card processing in the UK.

Global Payments is a trading name of GPUK LLP. GPUK LLP is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (504290) for the provision of payment services and under the Consumer Credit Act (714439) for the undertaking of terminal rental agreements.GPUK LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England number OC337146. Registered Office: Granite House, Granite Way, Syston, Leicester LE7 1PL. The members are Global Payments U.K. Limited and Global Payments U.K. 2 Limited. Service of any documents relating to the business will be effective if served at the Registered Office.

 


Additional Guidance and Resources

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

Bira fights for indie retailers in meeting with business minister

Bira urges shoppers to get back on to the high street

Bira CEO on ITN London news

Get ready to reopen your retail business on December 2

Bira’s 5-step guide to Covid-secure reopening

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

 

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 would opt to buy locally this year, more than two in five (43%) said they wanted to support independent businesses and the community due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. A similar proportion (42%) also said they wanted to enjoy an original gift selection, whilst 25% felt that local independent shops were more convenient.

Food glorious food: Of those choosing to shop with independent businesses, the average person will spend approximately £119 on gifts. Food and beverages are the most popular items to buy from independent shops (43%) followed by homeware (29%), clothing (27%) and jewellery (26%).

Keeping it local: Despite the shift to digital channels seen since the start of the pandemic, more than a quarter of shoppers (26%) are planning a trip to their local store, with the vast majority of these individuals opting to use contactless payments options (23%).

Online deliveries are set to be the most popular Christmas shopping method this year as people look to stay safe and healthy over the Christmas period. More than  half (55%) of adults will be doing the majority of their shopping online, with 47% using home deliveries, and 8% using click and collect.

South West leads support for independent shops: The survey also found that shoppers in the South West were more likely than those  from any other UK region or nation to seek out presents from independent shops, with just under three quarters (72%) stating their intention to do so. This was closely followed by 71% of residents in London and Scotland.

Backing from young people: The findings showed that young people were the most likely to be getting behind their local economies this Christmas, with three quarters (75%) of 18 to 34-year-olds stating their intention to buy gifts from independent shops, with this figure falling to 65% among 35 to 54-year-olds and 61% among over-55s.

Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “This research shows the importance of independent retail to the communities throughout the UK. For most of the year we have seen ‘indies’ change their business model and increase their digital footprint. This will continue without forgetting about the local opportunity.”

Anne Boden, CEO and Founder of Starling Bank, added: “Local businesses are the backbone of our economy and our communities. Independent retailers have had to show huge amounts of resilience weathering the storm this year and it’s been impressive to see how so many have quickly adapted, whether that be moving online or adjusting their business model.”

Read the Starling Bank blog post for more tips and tricks on shopping local this Christmas


Additional Guidance and Resources

Bira fights for indie retailers in meeting with business minister

Bira urges shoppers to get back on to the high street

Bira CEO on ITN London news

Get ready to reopen your retail business on December 2

Bira’s 5-step guide to Covid-secure reopening

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

Bira Direct announce new supplier TB Davies

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 every fitting, material and solution is carefully designed and stringently checked to keep the user safe when working at a height.

Heritage

Cardiff company TB Davies (Cardiff) Ltd was founded on November 6, 1945 by a veteran of two world wars, Thomas Brynley Davies. Mr Davies was a Warrant Officer in the Second Battalion of the Life Guards stationed at Windsor Barracks in the First World War.

The Swansea-born man lived in Splott between the wars and had become a prominent businessman. During the Second World War, he was Commandant of the Police Special Constables in Cardiff before joining the RAF and specialising in RAF security.

He made his promise to fellow serviceman Colin Morgan while stationed at a local RAF base. After the war ended, Bryn sold his house to finance the new business, TB Davies.

In the 1960s, Bryn’s grandson Patrick Gray, now Chairman, joined the company to sell the benefits of a revolutionary new product to potential customers: aluminium ladders.

Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength, now a multi-million pound enterprise operating from a modern, three-acre facility in Cardiff Bay and supplying customers across the UK and globally. The company focuses on ladders, scaffold towers, and platform-related safety products, having developed an enviable reputation for quality and service.

TB Davies  TB Davies Brochure


If you’re a Bira member and want to take advantage of preferential terms available to you through Bira Direct, click on the button below to find out more.
Bira Direct

If you’re not yet a Bira member but want to take advantage of the preferential terms and supplier offers, join today from just £149+VAT. Click below, email membership@bira.co.uk or call 0800 028 0245.

Join

 

 

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

Hinckley BID Retail Membership

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. Given uncertainties over the long-term economic outlook, they have not recommended any change to the Government’s target of the NLW reaching two-thirds of median earnings by 2024. The LPC’s report sets out an indicative future path for the NLW; but the effects of furloughing on pay data limit its precision this year. A full report will follow in early December.

 

The minimum wage rates which will apply from 2021 are:

 

Rate from April 2020 Rate from April 2021 Increase
National Living Wage £8.72 £8.91 2.2%
21-24 Year Old Rate £8.20 £8.36 2.0%
18-20 Year Old Rate £6.45 £6.56 1.7%
16-17 Year Old Rate £4.55 £4.62 1.5%
Apprentice Rate £4.15 £4.30 3.6%
Accommodation Offset £8.20 £8.36 2.0%

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) will be holding an online launch event for our full report on Wednesday 09 December 15.00 – 16.00. Commissioners and Secretariat will present on our recommendations. The link to sign up for the event is here.

 

 

 


Additional Guidance and Resources

Bira fights for indie retailers in meeting with business minister

Bira urges shoppers to get back on to the high street

Bira CEO on ITN London news

Get ready to reopen your retail business on December 2

Bira’s 5-step guide to Covid-secure reopening

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

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.”


Additional Guidance and Resources

Bira urges shoppers to get back on to the high street

Bira CEO on ITN London news

Get ready to reopen your retail business on December 2

Bira’s 5-step guide to Covid-secure reopening

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

 

 

 

 

Retailers granted more flexibility in opening hours

Independent retailers in England are being granted greater flexibility in their opening hours over the Christmas period.

Housing Minister Robert Jenrick announced that shops in England will be allowed to extend their opening hours for the rest of December and into January so that social distancing measures can be adhered to and that shopping remains safe.

Retailers can extend their daily opening hours from Monday to Saturday to help spread footfall and give shoppers greater flexibility in choosing when they shop.

Restrictions on shop opening hours on these days have been removed. However, many retailers are subject to local controls through planning conditions which restrict opening times, particularly in the early morning, evening and at night.

He said: “Given the exceptional circumstances as a result of the coronavirus, the purpose of this Written Ministerial Statement, which comes into effect from December 2, is to make clear that, as a matter of urgency, local planning authorities should take a positive approach to their engagement with retailers to ensure planning controls are not a barrier to the temporary extension of retail opening times in December and January.

“Where appropriate, local planning authorities should also highlight this temporary relaxation to retailers in their area so that they can take advantage of longer opening hours if they wish to do so.”

As part of his statement to the House of Commons he added: “… there is at present no evidence of significant increased risk of virus transmission in retail premises. The Government asked non-essential retailers to close as part of wider restrictions to limit social mixing in November, once those restrictions have been lifted consumers and retail staff can have confidence to return to our high streets.”

Commenting on the move, Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “This makes sense to avoid large crowds and queues, thus keeping shoppers safe.

“As regards 24-hour opening, supermarkets have had that for several years now. We do not expect independent retailer to open for 24 hours, but they will welcome the opportunity to do more late night shopping in the run up to the very important festive period.

“This is the most important December for retail and retailers need flexibility with regards their opening hours.”


Additional Guidance and Resources

Bira urges shoppers to get back on to the high street

Get ready to reopen your retail business on December 2

Bira delighted non essential retail can reopen on December 2

Non-essential retail to reopen from December 2

Bira’s 5-step guide to Covid-secure reopening

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

SIP offers additional credit to members in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

SIP is working towards ensuring our business with customers in both the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland, continues smoothly beyond the Brexit Deadline date of 31 December 2020.

SIP is working towards ensuring our business with customers in both the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland, continues smoothly beyond the Brexit Deadline date of 31 December 2020.

Once SIP’s arrangements are firmed up, they will update you with the details, which we intend will remove any additional work from our customers when trading with SIP.

On the subject of added haulage costs following 31st December 2020, SIP is working on how the inevitable increases in transport costs can be minimised, in order to avoid a significant increase having to be shared with our Customers across the island of Ireland.

Despite all of our planning, it is impossible to be sure there will not be significant delays in the delivery of goods to Ireland from the UK mainland during January 2021.

Therefore SIP is offering 30 DAYS ADDITIONAL CREDIT on all orders delivered to either Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland during December 2020.

Please work with us to ensure there is enough stock in the supply chain to avoid “out of stock situations” arising because of shipment delays at the UK Ports.

To Qualify orders MUST  be received at SIP by Wednesday 16th December 2020!

SIP
Bira Direct


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 stop the spread of Covid-19. It is allowed to reopen tomorrow (December 2).

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “This December is the most important December ever for many independent retailers who’ve been closed for the last four weeks.

“December is traditionally a crucial time for indies, and this one will be even more so as they try and make the most of the run-up to Christmas.

“We are urging shoppers to get back on to the high street and support their local independent retailers, who have worked so hard to make shopping a safe and pleasant experience.

He added: “We hope shoppers will come flocking back to the high streets and take advantage of all the shops being open in a safe environment. There will be a fabulously festive atmosphere and customers will be able to enjoy a traditional Christmas shopping experience.”


Additional Guidance and Resources

Get ready to reopen your retail business on December 2

Bira delighted non essential retail can reopen on December 2

Non-essential retail to reopen from December 2

Bira’s 5-step guide to Covid-secure reopening

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

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 and other indoor entertainment venues will also close, but non-essential retail, hairdressers, gyms and leisure centres can stay open.

The move, to prevent the spread of Covid-19, follows the previous ‘firebreak’ lockdown between October 23 and November 9.

Meanwhile, the Welsh Government has released further information about the grants available to businesses impacted by the pandemic. Read more here for the latest information


Additional Guidance and Resources

Wales lockdown: Non-essential retail to reopen from November 9

Welsh lockdown: No definitive ‘non-essential’ product list available

Bira angry over Welsh Government U-turn on ‘essential’ stores

Wales lockdown: Which businesses can stay open? (updated 22/10/2020)

Wales to impose two-week circuit breaker lockdown

Is a national circuit breaker the answer?

Join Bira today for £149

Bira Direct Christmas Competition Off to a Jolly Start

Bira Direct Christmas Window Display Competition

Despite launching during the second national lockdown, the Bira Direct Christmas Display competition has got off to a cracking start. The competition aims to find the best Christmas display from an independent retail business. This can be a traditional shop window display or a display area.

Bira Direct would like to thank everyone who has entered so far and share a sneak peek of some of the entries that have been submitted so far.

How to enter

There’s still time to enter if you haven’t already, as the deadline for entries is the 14th December. This year marks the first time that Bira Direct has ran a competition of this nature, so if you have a Christmas display to be proud you can enter the competition by sending an email of your Christmas display to info@biradirect.co.uk under the subject “Bira Christmas Display Competition”

OR

Tag or DM us a picture of your display on social media using #BiraChristmasComp before the 14th December 2020.

Facebook  

Instagram 

Voting and announcing the winner 

We’ll be narrowing down entries to a shortlist of 10 businesses which will be put to a public vote via our Facebook and Instagram accounts between the 15th-22nd December and we will announce the winners on the news section of our website and on our social media accounts on 23rd December 2020. 

Facebook  

Instagram 

Festive Offers Hub

For the latest offers and updates from Bira Direct, visit the festive offers hub below. These offers are updated on a daily basis, so remember to bookmark this area as not to miss out on the latest offers. Or alternatively see the latest updates by following us on social media.

Festive Hub
LinkedIn Twitter

If you have any questions or need more information email us at info@biradirect.co.uk. Or if you’d like to find out more on how to start making the most of Bira Direct click here.


 

A wide range of new suppliers now available through Bira Direct

Bira Direct new suppliers

Bira Direct welcome seven new suppliers in Q3 and Q4

The Bira Direct team has been working hard to continue to negotiate competitive terms with a wide range of new suppliers, providing product buying solutions over a wide range of categories including lighting, pets, childrens toys and more.

Forum Lighting Solutions

Forum Lighting solutions are designers and distributors of high quality, energy saving light fittings and lamps, based in the North West of England. Forum offers Bira members competitively priced and expertly designed products along with a professional and friendly service.

Falcon Panel Products

Falcon Panel Products provide a wide range of wood based panels including plywood, mdf, chipboard, OSB, white shelving, veneered MDF, Birch plywood and anti-slip panels.

Nordlux

Scandinavian designed interior lighting and lamps, outdoor weather resistant lighting, spotlights and smart lights.

Avvrax

Avvrax stock 100,00’s of products across a wide range of product categories including;

  • Pet food and pet products from leading brands such as Skinners, Pedigree and Pettex.
  • IT products from brands including intel, hp, SanDisk and Seagate.
  • Household cleaning from eco-friendly brands such as BioD and Ecover/
  • SDA brands such as Russell Hobbs, Honeywell, George Foreman and Braun.
  • Health Beauty and personal care.
  • Food items including, Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate, Hilltop Honey, Meridian and Montezuma’s chocolate.
  • DIY and Hardware brands including RAC and Fahren, KS Tools, Nissens
  • An enormous range of children’s toys including licensed products from Action Man, Barbie, Baby Alice, Crayola, DC, Disney, Fisher-Price, Harry Potter, Hot Wheels, Imaginext, K’nex, Marvel, Mattel Games, Mega Bloks, My Little Pony, Nerf, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Pikmi Pops, PJ Masks, Play-Doh, Playskool, Pokemon, Shopkins, Thomas & Friends, Top Trumps, Toy Story, Transformers, WWE and more!
Konstsmide

Konstsmide supplier Christmas Lighting and decorative items as well as outdoor and security lighting.

Florelle

Florelle have been sourcing, importing and delivering realistic artificial flowers, trees, plants and Christmas decorations to the gift trade across the UK for the last 30 years.

Fallen Fruits

Unique garden products, furniture and accessories, including planters, terrariums, garden furniture, wildlife friendly products.

Supporting you

For the latest offers and festive ranges from Bira Direct suppliers please make sure to visit the Bira Direct Festive Hub. This area is updated on a daily basis, so make sure you’re following us on social media and don’t miss out on the latest offers.

Festive Hub
LinkedIn Twitter


 

 

Christmas will be a cracker in Ludlow thanks to Bira member

What a cracking idea! Bira member Bodenhams has joined forces with other local businesses to spread festive cheer this Christmas.

The lifestyle store, run by Roger and Monika Curry, has worked with other businesses in Ludlow to produce Together We Shine – a promotional video capturing the spirit of the market town – just in time for the holiday season – and to help shoppers stay local during the pandemic.

The group of businesses has also launched a gift voucher scheme through the Let’s Go Ludlow lifestyle guide creators.

The video follows a family of four as they head around town shopping at various stores in the town with a fairy spreading light and cheer at every visited location. It features music specially created by local musicians @TheConspiritualist.

The video highlights indie retailers and services in Ludlow.

Monika and Roger Curry, owners of Bodenham’s, said: “We are the fifth generation of Bodenham caretakers, our store and the town has come through some tough times since it began trading in 1860.

“During the pandemic, we witnessed the best of Ludlow. So many local people and businesses gave their time for good of the town. This community spirit was the inspiration for the Together We Shine video.

“We simply wanted to remind people how unique Ludlow is and how much we have to offer in run up to Christmas. However small a budget, someone in Ludlow has something to offer.”

Monika added: “The film is a great way to emphasise the efforts of everyone in our community from the charities in town to our businesses keeping Ludlow a vibrant market town. We want local and out-of-town shoppers to know that the gift voucher scheme is up and running whether we are in or out of lockdown and hope everyone will participate!”

Watch the video here


Additional Guidance and Resources

Choose to shop local this Christmas

Bira Direct’s Christmas display competition: How to enter

A guide to preparing for Christmas in post-Covid retail

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Do you need help with promotional material? Why not email Bira Training at neil.moss@bira.co.uk

 

Bira CEO on ITN London evening news

black friday

Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre is set to appear on ITN’s London evening news at 6pm tonight (November 27, 2020).

Andrew was interviewed this afternoon (November 27) responding to questions about how indies have lost out this Black Friday. The interview is expected to be screened during the 6pm programme.

Non-essential retail is currently closed and will be not allowed to reopen until next Wednesday, December 2, 2020, when England comes out of lockdown and returns to the three tier system.

All non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with no restrictions. However, the hospitality sector will be subject to tiered restrictions, with those in the highest tier (Tier 3) only allowed to offer takeaway and delivery service.

This programme will only be shown in the London region.


Additional Guidance and Resources

Get ready to reopen your retail business on December 2

Bira delighted non essential retail can reopen on December 2

Non-essential retail to reopen from December 2

Bira’s 5-step guide to Covid-secure reopening

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

Bira members are top of the shops!

Small Stuff UK, Children's Store, Sheffield

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 all about quality and individuality, stocks both iconic British brands such as Emma Bridgwater, Plum & Ashby and Repeat Repeat as well as products with a Danish influence that originated with the business founders, including luxury brands Dansk Smykkekunst, Bahne, Cozy Living and Broste Copenhagen.

During lockdown it opened a Trouva boutique online with owners Clare and Hannah Bishop taking products home from the shop and turning their garage into a distribution centre. This enabled them to focus on distributing products to customers all over the world as well as giving them the confidence and incentive to open their own online shop.

Clare Bishop, who owns Cornucopia with her daughter Hannah, said: “We both felt so humbled and honoured to have been shortlisted for this award. We had a peak at some of the other shortlisted shops and just felt so privileged to have been placed amongst them. But to then find out we had won was just amazing. We really couldn’t have achieved this without our customers. It’s just incredible.

“We just feel that customers really want a physical shop to come into. We like to display in a way that gives the customer an idea of what they could recreate at home. We have a tremendous team to help support us within the shop otherwise it just wouldn’t look the way it does. It involves lots of hard work but it’s really enjoyable and worthwhile.”

In their comments about Cornucopia, the judges said that they ‘loved their resilient approach combined with their community spirit’.

The two runners-up were Bira member Nourish of Topsham, an ethical, packaging-free, zero waste provisions shop in Topsham, near Exeter; and AG Hendy, a homeware shop in Hastings, which offers practical plastic free, eco-friendly goods for the home.

A special award was also made this year for the independent shop that had displayed most innovation during the Covid-19 pandemic. This was awarded jointly to Bira member Small Stuff UK, a children’s shop in Sheffield, which specialises in ethical and eco-conscious lifestyle products and clothing for small children, and Grace’s Bakery, a three-generation family bakery in Ryde on the Isle of Wight.  This award was sponsored by booost, the loyalty, gifting and promotions app.

In their comments about Small Stuff, the judges said that the shop’s use of Zoom for gift purchasing was ‘a brilliant idea during these difficult times, and definitely something other businesses can implement for continuing sales and reaching out to new customers’.

The judges recognised the way the shop had used its voice across social platforms to promote local shopping in the area.

Owner Hellen Stirling-Baker said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. It’s a wonderful competition that highlights so many incredible businesses that I looked at and thought, wow, look at the amazing things they’re doing. The award couldn’t have come at a better time, given everything we have had to deal with with Covid. It just drives me more and more to continue what we are doing and push forward with this independent business that I have grown.”

The Best Small Shops competition is managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC), whose member trade associations represent approximately 100,000 independent retailers throughout the UK between them. The competition celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK’s High Streets and the central role they play in their local communities. It is sponsored by Maybe*, an engagement platform that helps make social media work for independent retailers.


Additional Guidance and Resources

Best Small Shop Competition is launched

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

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

Small Stuff, big ambitions

Are you a member of Bira? Join now

 

 

 

Creative Party Launch New User-Friendly Trade Website

CREATIVE PARTY LAUNCHES NEW USER-FRIENDLY TRADE WEBSITE

Leading partyware supplier, Creative Party, have launched an empowering new B2B ecommerce website for their customers around the globe, giving them the ability to manage and place their orders on demand. b2b.creativepartyltd.com provides retailers with quick and convenient access to trend-led, high-quality party and cake decorating products, across all the company’s leading brands.

Designed to mimic the layout of their renowned catalogues, the website features all Everyday UK stocked lines, shoppable under each brand, all in one place, from any device, at any time!

Well designed, easy navigation helps customers discover exciting features that provide a smooth ordering experience and swift access to the product information they require. Highlights include:

  • Access to account details and a record of previous orders
  • Live prices tailored to each account, including any applicable discounts
  • Live basket totals and notification when minimum order and carriage paid values are met
  • Ability to download high-resolution product images for use on customer retail websites
  • Ability to build an order gradually and save for later
  • Live notification if a product is temporarily out of stock
  • ‘Instant Basket Builder’ which allows customers to quickly find and add products to an order by typing in the product code and clicking enter. A great time-saving feature for use in a store or warehouse environment.
  • A download option for immediate access to product barcodes

“We always take customer feedback on board and we knew how important it was for us to bring online ordering to the list of ways to order from us. Having listened to feedback and working in tandem with our customers on the development, we have been able to craft an innovative account management tool that provides the ultimate in hassle-free service,” said Alan Clark, Managing Director. “We are proud to offer retailers this new 24/7 ordering option, so they can conveniently shop both our Creative Party and Anniversary House products.”

All retailers are encouraged to visit b2b.creativepartyltd.com to register for online shopping. Creative Party account holders can register by simply entering their trade account details on the site’s registration page. New customers can also apply online to open a trade account before receiving login details.

As usual the Creative Party team remain committed to ensuring customer satisfaction and a pleasant, stress-free ordering experience. Their friendly customer service team are available on +44 (0) 1202 590222 to answer any queries and help retailers get started.

Creative Party B2B Creative Party

About Creative Party

Creative Party are one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and distributors of Partyware, Balloons and Cake Decorations, offering fast selling lines and a growing range of products into the retail and wholesale trade. The strength and success of our range is achieved by detailed and innovative designs that bring something fresh and new to the market.
Creative Party

About Anniversary House

Anniversary House Cake Decorations is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and distributors of Cake Decorations and Disposable Tabletop into the retail trade. Established in 1953, we have been supplying innovative and appealing designs year after year and we’re proud of our British Heritage; all of our sugarcraft products are handmade in our Dorset UK headquarters by our specialist team of experts.
Anniversary House

If you’re a Bira member and want to take advantage of preferential terms available to you through Bira Direct, click on the button below to find out more.
Bira Direct


Additional Guidance and Resources

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

Choose to shop local this Christmas: Visa reveals the positive impact on local economies

independent retailers
  • Consumers can double the amount of money that stays within their local economy by consciously choosing to shop more with independent, local businesses, finds a new report from Visa and the Cebr (Centre for Economics and Business Research)
  • For every £10 spent with an independent business, £3.80 is retained locally
  • Over half of Brits (54%) plan to do some of their Christmas shopping locally this year, either online or in store, while four in five (81%) are supporting local businesses as much, or more than, before the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Despite this support, three in five consumers (62%) are worried independent businesses will not survive if their local community does not back them through this time

 

Buying more of your Christmas dinner ingredients, loved ones’ presents or home decorations from a local business could double the amount of money that stays in your community, according to new research commissioned by Visa.

After a year of upheaval for independent businesses, and ahead of Black Friday weekend, Visa has released key findings from its upcoming report created in partnership with Cebr (Centre for Economic & Business Research). The socio-economic report launches alongside Visa’s Where You Shop Matters Christmas campaign, championing Britain’s local, independent businesses for a third consecutive year. 

According to the research, for every £10 we spend with a local business, more than a third (£3.80) stays within the area, showing the value of shopping locally. The research also found that currently Brits spend just over a fifth of their money locally*, however they would be willing to spend half** of their money with local businesses.

By choosing to shop local this Christmas, consumers could double the amount of money that stays in their local area at a critical time for Britain’s small businesses.

 

The community benefits of shopping local

Over half of Brits surveyed (54%) say it’s important to them to shop locally because they know how much their custom means, while 43% say they get a boost of happiness when they support local shopkeepers. Consumers also believe that local businesses contribute to their community by employing local people (49%), making the area into a nicer place to live (39%) and keeping it vibrant and buzzing (38%).

Meanwhile, one in five (18%) own or are employed by a local business themselves so understand first-hand what community support means to them. Despite this, three in five consumers (62%) remain worried that independent businesses will not survive if their local community does not back them.

 

Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO comments: “Bira appreciates Visa once again highlighting the value of independent retailers to a local economy. By shopping locally customers have access to quality, diverse products and the added bonus of a feel good factor. Furthermore, it is a well-known fact that of the money spent locally, a higher percentage is ‘recycled’ within the local economy, and is far more effective than money spent with a large online retailer.”

 

Jeni Mundy, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Visa comments: “Where we choose to shop matters. While for many of us, shopping locally is simply a convenient way to purchase goods and services, for local business owners it’s the lifeline they rely on, especially in these challenging times. Our research with the Cebr has found the extent to which communities prosper when we all support local businesses, so continuing this support at Christmas – and beyond – will have a profound impact on how our communities recover.

 

Likelihood to shop local across the UK

This Christmas, consumers plan to show their local businesses some love with 81% of those surveyed planning to give them as much, or more, support than before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Londoners*** are the most likely to shop locally, currently spending £3.05 of every £10 with independent businesses near them. However, they estimate that up to £5.78 of every £10 could be spent locally if they made the choice to further support businesses in their area.

Those in Wales and the South West are the least likely to shop locally, spending just £1.94 of every £10 – but estimate they could increase this spend to almost £5 in every tenner.

 

Invaluable support during a challenging year

Consumer support in 2020 has been crucial for many independent businesses, proving the power of community spirit during lockdown. In fact, over half of shopkeepers (54%) admit the support of their local community has meant a lot and helped them to keep going through this difficult year.

Word of mouth recommendations were the most valued type of support (63%) followed by customers choosing to spend money with their business (46%) and support their business on social media (19%).

 

Fiona Cox, Senior Economist at Cebr comments: “Our research, in partnership with Visa, looked to quantify the local economic impact associated with shopping at local goods and services providers. We hypothesised that such firms would have a more localised supply chain and customer base, and indeed, the results indicate that, owing to the concentration of local suppliers and employees, almost 40% of money that is spent locally, stays locally, providing support to local merchants and to their communities.”

 

Visa’s Where You Shop Matters campaign is a long-term global commitment that recognises the essential role that local, independent businesses play in our communities. Throughout the year, Visa has been drawing on its network of industry, technology, and community partners to provide much needed assistance to local businesses as they rebuild for recovery. Visa has also committed to digitally enable eight million small businesses across Europe.

 

To celebrate what shopping locally means to independent businesses, this year’s Christmas campaign from Visa will feature real businesses from across the UK talking about what the support of their community means to them.

For more information, go to www.visa.co.uk/whereyoushopmatters.

 

 

 

 


Additional Guidance and Resources

Non-essential retail to reopen from December 2

Bira’s 5-step guide to Covid-secure reopening

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Not a member? Join Bira now

 

Bira ‘delighted’ non-essential retail can reopen on December 2

Bira has expressed ‘delight’ non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen in England from next Wednesday (December 2).

The comments follow Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement to the House of Commons this afternoon (Monday, November 23).

Following a second lockdown in England, all ‘non-essential’ retail was forced to shut from November 5 to December 2, inclusive.

However, shops will now be allowed to reopen on Wednesday, December 2, – a day before expected.

Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre said: ” We are delighted that shops can re-open from December 2, and are also unaffected by the new tier system.

“We are receiving more notice than we thought as we actually expected confirmation on Thursday. Retailers will be ready and we hope that the town centres and local authorities will also have prepared to  accommodate shoppers.

“Many have been trying to do business online and via click and collect. December will be all about selling Christmas goods, and retailers will have to work hard and be creative to attract shoppers.”

He added: “The second lockdown has had a terrible impact on independent retail – potentially more than than the first one because it is such an important time on the retail calendar.

“Research tells us that 20% of indies did not re-open in the summer after the first lockdown so we will not see the full impact of this until January or February – but it could be the same again.

He said that indies need further support to survive this challenging time.

“Cash is running out and more grants will be needed in January. We need clarity on business rates and the decision to extend the rates holiday for non-essential businesses.

“We need funds and expertise to help indie retailers to continue their transition to a stronger digital footprint. We also need to realise that shopping is safe and no need to close shops even if there is a third lockdown.”


Additional Guidance and Resources

Non-essential retail to reopen from December 2

Bira’s 5-step guide to Covid-secure reopening

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

Government releases further guidance for retailers

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

Home Office launches two campaigns to help protect vulnerable communities

The Government and other organisations are running two campaigns to help support vulnerable communities.  As an influencer to local communities round the UK, independent businesses are in prime position to help raise awareness.

The campaigns focus around supporting secondary school children in England suffering from abuse and victims of domestic abuse. Find information on both campaigns below.

 

Something’s Not Right Campaign

The Home Office has launched a new campaign, ‘Something’s Not Right‘, to help secondary school children in England who suffered a range of harms, such as sexual and physical abuse, during lockdown.

The campaign will focus on the following:

  • Social Media Advertising: on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook which will direct children to the campaign web page. The four adverts can be viewed here.
  • Campaign web page: www.childline.org.uk/somethings-not-right – this has been developed with Childline and is hosted on their website.
  • Lesson Plans: We have collaborated with the PSHE Association, Barnardo’s and the NSPCC to create lesson plans for Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 students. The plans, resources and accompanying teacher guidance are all available to download on the PSHE Association website.

We would greatly appreciate your support in amplifying this campaign to as many children, and those working with children, as possible. All of the campaign materials are available to download from the campaign portal.

 

Download the supporters pack

 

#YouAreNotAlone Domestic Abuse campaign

To continue to support victims of domestic abuse, the government has relaunched the #YouAreNotAlone campaign. Advertising on social media and paid search signposts to gov.uk/domestic-abuse where victims, perpetrators and members of the public can find out how to get support if they or someone they know may be experiencing domestic abuse. Information includes Easy Read guidance and organisations that provide support in other languages and to those living with disabilities.

You can download the campaign assets, including the Employer pack, posters, leaflets, animations, email signatures and social media assets, and translated campaign assets. More information can be found in the partner pack attached.

Download the supporters pack

 

 

 


Additional Guidance and Resources

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

Government releases further guidance for retailers

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Not a member? Join Bira now

Non-essential retail to reopen from December 2

Lincoln High Street

Non-essential retail in England will be allowed to reopen from next Wednesday, December 2, the Prime Minister has announced.

Boris Johnson addressed the House of Commons this afternoon (Monday, November 23), to set out his Covid winter plan for England after lockdown ends next week.

England will return to the Tier Three system adopted before the lockdown. An official designation of tiers and areas will be made on Thursday with the following measures applying:

  • Reopening of all non-essential retail on Wednesday, December 2
  • Gyms will be allowed to reopen
  • The 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants scrapped – last orders will be 10pm with closing time raised to 11pm

However, pubs and restaurants in the top tier – Tier Three – will only be able to offer click and collect or delivery.

Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “Independent retail are pleased that so called non-essential retail can open again on the December 2. Any delays to this would be even more damaging to this already fragile sector.

“We can reassure the shoppers that the shops will be safer than ever and with all the shops open, Christmas shopping will  feel ‘normal’ again. We also want to highlight again that all retail should be allowed to trade through any future lockdown, not least because having all shops open prevents crowded stores elsewhere.

“Finally, everybody wants to enjoy the festive period, but a another lockdown in the new year as a result of easing restrictions for Christmas will further damage the economy and is not a price worth paying.”

In conclusion, we advise members to revisit their re-opening risk assessment and if not already done, we strongly urge you to consider setting up click and collect to maximise your chances to keep selling into the New Year and beyond.

Additional Guidance and Resources

Bira’s 5-step guide to Covid-secure reopening

Open letter to members from Bira CEO

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

Government releases further guidance for retailers

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

Service update and thank you from Toolstream CEO Darrell Morris

Toolstream service update

Bira Direct supplier Toolstream send a service update to members regarding stock levels due to Covid-19 and Brexit.

During these challenging times, I wanted to reach out to give you an update on what we’re doing to make sure we get your orders to you as quickly and safely as possible.

Things are a little unpredictable at the moment, but rest assured we are taking all possible steps to increase our stock levels to support you through the Brexit transition and the recent spikes as a result of Covid-19. We pride ourselves on our close relationships with our suppliers and together we’re working really hard to get stock to you as quickly and safely as we can.

For the most up-to-date stock information and for alerts on stock arrival using StockWatch, please visit Toolstream.com.

Our carrier partners, including UPS, are doing all they can to navigate this challenge to deliver on time. Due to lockdown and the upcoming festive period, we recommend orders are placed as early as possible in order to ensure they reach you in good time. Orders placed before 3pm will be despatched the same day. As ever, our Sales and Customer Service teams are available and happy to help you with any queries. If you would like to speak to a team member, please email sales@toolstream.com or call us on 01935 382222.

I thank you for your continued support. It means a lot that you’re sticking with us, and I wish you and your families well during these unprecedented times.

Darrell Morris
CEO

If you’re a Bira member and want to take advantage of preferential terms available to you through Bira Direct, click on the button below to find out more.
Bira Direct  Toolstream


Additional Guidance and Resources

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Is a national circuit breaker the answer

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

Captivate Brands reduce minimum orders for carriage paid deliveries

captivate brands support

In light of the restrictions and tough lockdown measures in place, Captivate Brands would like to offer a reduced minimum order value for carriage paid deliveries for Bira members until Christmas.

The minimum order for carriage paid will now be £250 ex VAT (usually £350), customers can also break packs and mix across the four key ranges.

Mary Berry Collection

The Mary Berry range includes the Signature Collection and the English Garden Collection, and consists of truly classic kitchenware collection for modern times.

Find out more Captivate Brands

Artisan St

The Artisan Street range is beautifully crafted and exceptionally designed. The range is built around eating, sharing and entertaining. The range includes wooden chopping boards, decorative spoons and bowls and stylish glass and ceramic storage and oven to tableware.

Find out more Captivate Brands

Artisan St

Bakehouse & Co

The Bakehouse & Co range is designed for those who like to get creative in the kitchen. It’s the little details that make a big difference – mixing bowls come with seal-tight lids, grip handles and non-slip bases, sieves and graters can be fitted to mixing bowls and there are some original and quirky products like double-sided chopping boards.

Find out more Captivate Brands

Kitchen Pantry

The Kitchen Pantry range is made for those who like to create in the kitchen and share with friends and family. The range includes preserving pans, stickers and labels for jams and chutneys, tactile embossed honeycomb ceramics for baking and storage and marble and acacia wood boards for chopping and serving.

Find out more Captivate Brands

If you’re a Bira member and want to take advantage of preferential terms available to you through Bira Direct, click on the button below to find out more.
Bira Direct


Additional Guidance and Resources

Important news for cookshops

Looking to reopen?  Make sure you’re Covid-secure

Need advice? Contact Bira Legal

Reopening? Stock up for Christmas at Bira Direct

Open letter to members from Bira CEO

Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

Government releases further guidance for retailers

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

 

List your business for free on a national newspaper website

We know how difficult trade is for many of you right now, and we are always working hard to provide you with new opportunities to promote your business and grow your customer base.

This week, the Daily Mirror and 35 of its regional titles across England and Wales are launching In Your Area a free listing service for independent retailers to give them an extra boost during lockdown.

The service is completely free and gives retailers the opportunity to share with Mirror group (now Reach plc) newspaper readers, and its affiliated website users, the details of their business and whether they are offering click and collect, and delivery services  in the run up to Christmas.

Bira is backing this campaign and urging businesses to sign up and make the most of the In Your Area listing service through December and into next year.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Mirror group newspapers (Reach plc) on this important campaign to bring customers back to local independent retailers.

“This is a vital time of the year for retail and this idea will be welcomed by all independent retailers and shoppers.”

Read the story of the campaign here

Sign up for In Your Area here

 

 

 


Additional Guidance and Resources

Open letter to members from Bira CEO

List your business for free on national newspaper website

Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

Government releases further guidance for retailers

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

Bira Direct announce new supplier Falcon Panel Products

falcon-pp-products-banner

Bira Direct are excited to announce new supplier Falcon Panel Products. Founded in 1986 Falcon Panel Products is a leading wood based panel products importer, distributor and solutions specialist.

Falcon Panel products have a on-site port facility at Tilbury and depots in Nottingham, West Bromwich, Haydock, Leeds, High Wycombe and Gateshead and are strategically located to offer customers a responsive, reliable, nationwide service. Products including their market leading Strebord© range, are used extensively in the construction and manufacturing industries, including mezzanine flooring storage and handling, doors, packaging, timber frame, furniture, shopfitting and joinery.

Forward Thinking

Falcon Panel Products have long standing and secure supply chains with a continuous in-house development programme, enabling us to maintain ‘industry best’ standards, now and going forward.

Environment

With a commitment to the environment, the company ensures all of its timber products are from well managed sustainable sources and that all their suppliers continue with good environmental supply chain management.

The company is accredited by key associations and technical authorities and is a registered FSC® and PEFC supplier.

Falcon Panel Products Award

Falcon Panel Products  Falcon Panel Products Product Range

Streply

The popular Streply® range of high quality, reliable commercial plywood products appeals to a wide range of specialist end user and merchant customers. Streply® is manufactured by the South House Woods Group in Eastern China and distributed exclusively in the UK by Falcon Panel Products.
Streply® plywood has no tropical timber content, using 100% temperate hardwood for core and face content, sourced responsibly from indigenous Chinese growers.
Streply® is independently audited to ensure compliance with the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) on legal timber sourcing and is manufactured using an EN 314-2 Class 2 rated glue bond. Bond performance is regularly tested by UK accredited laboratories to ensure it meets the requirements of the Construction Products Regulation. Streply® is also tested for use in structural applications in 9mm and thicker sections as defined in EN 13986: 2004.

Take a closer look at the Standard and Speciality ranges

Streplas

Streplas® is a collection of white melamine faced furniture grade chipboard panels, available ex-stock for quick delivery from all Falcon sites.
Streplas® is a versatile and cost-effective alternative to solid wood or MDF shelving, and is available in a variety of widths. All Streplas® panels are precision cut and edged on two long edges, to fit whatever shape or space is required.

Take a closer look at the Streplas Range


If you’re a Bira member and want to take advantage of preferential terms available to you through Bira Direct, click on the button below to find out more.
Bira Direct

If you’re not yet a Bira member but want to take advantage of the preferential terms and supplier offers, join today from just £149+VAT. Click below, email membership@bira.co.uk or call 0800 028 0245.

Join

Bira CEO talks retail lockdown in podcast series

Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre is the latest guest on Service Dealer’s regular podcast series.

The Inside Agri-Turf series which has featured BAGMA‘s Director Keith Christian usually focusses on matters from the agriculture and groundscare sector however, Andrew was invited on to talk about the retail sector.

He talks to host Chris Biddle in an episode recorded on the day that England entered a second national lockdown of 2020, a decision which Andrew describes as his ‘greatest disappointment of the year to-date’.

In the podcast, Andrew questioned the decision to open garden centres who focus almost exclusively on Christmas related products rather than gardening at this time of the year, giving an unfair advantage over many small shops.

However he praised the ingenuity and innovative moves by many independent retailers ‘to go the customers who couldn’t go to them’.

“But there is still much to do, around 80% of independent retailers have websites, but only 25% have transactional facilities built in,” he added.

Listen again to the podcast here


Additional Guidance and Resources

Open letter to members from Bira CEO

Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

Government releases further guidance for retailers

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

Eleven council areas of Scotland to be put under tightest restrictions

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that 11 council areas in the country are moving into level four of the coronavirus tier system.

In further efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19, it means millions of Scots will be living with the strictest restrictions.

The council areas that will move to level four for three weeks from Friday, November 20, are: the City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.

This means:

  • In Level 4 essential retailers can remain open: The regulations include the following amongst that definition: food retailers, off licences, homeware, building supplies, and hardware stores, pharmacies, newsagents, petrol stations, bicycle shops, post offices, pet shops, agricultural supply shops, storage and distribution facilities, and garden centres.
  • In Level 4 all retailers – even non-essential ones whose shops are forced to close – can continue to receive/dispatch deliveries at their warehouses and make deliveries or provide collection services or orders received online, by mail order, telephone, or by post.

Guidance states that garden centres and homeware stores -including those selling cookware – may remain open. Read the full regulations here

The First Minister said that there are “grounds for continued and significant concern” in these areas.


Additional Guidance and Resources

Scottish Government publish guidance for retailers

New tier system for Scotland

Tighter restrictions to be introduced in Scotland

Bira angry over Welsh Government U-turn on ‘essential’ stores

Wales lockdown: Which businesses can stay open? (updated 22/10/2020)

Wales to impose two-week circuit breaker lockdown

Forced mass closure of shops for circuit breaker would be devastating, says Bira

Is a national circuit breaker the answer?

Join Bira today for £149

Scottish tier system: Guidance for retailers published

The Scottish Government has published its guidance about retail closures under its five-tier Covid-alert system.

The framework governs the restrictions for each Local Authority area. No local authorities have been placed in Level 4 (the highest – and which requires closure of ‘non-essential retail’) with the vast majority in Levels 3  and 2.  The levels will be reviewed on a weekly basis.

The Scottish Government has said they could also institute national Levels (including putting the whole country into Level 4) if necessary.

The regulations define which businesses are able to be open at each level. It states:

  • All retailers can operate in line with the Scottish Government guidance in Levels 0-3, but note the hospitality requirements at the various levels e.g. ceasing alcohol sales and customers seated to eat indoors.
  • In Level 4 essential retailers can remain open: The regulations include the following amongst that definition: food retailers, off licences, homeware, building supplies, and hardware stores, pharmacies, newsagents, petrol stations, bicycle shops, post offices, pet shops, agricultural supply shops, storage and distribution facilities, and garden centres.
  • In Level 4 all retailers – even non-essential ones whose shops are forced to close – can continue to receive/dispatch deliveries at their warehouses and make deliveries or provide collection services or orders received online, by mail order, telephone, or by post.

The full document can be found here

Check which level your area in Scotland is currently in here

More from the Scottish Government’s measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus here


Additional Guidance and Resources

New tier system for Scotland

Tighter restrictions to be introduced in Scotland

Bira angry over Welsh Government U-turn on ‘essential’ stores

Wales lockdown: Which businesses can stay open? (updated 22/10/2020)

Wales to impose two-week circuit breaker lockdown

Forced mass closure of shops for circuit breaker would be devastating, says Bira

Is a national circuit breaker the answer?

Join Bira today for £149

 

 

 

 

Job Retention Bonus Scheme withdrawn

Train your team. bira. British Independent Retailers Association

The Government’s Job Retention Bonus Scheme has been withdrawn after other support measures were announced.

The Job Retention Bonus was a £1,000 one-off taxable payment to the employer, for each eligible employee that was furloughed and kept continuously employed until January 31, 2021.

However, the scheme was withdrawn after the enhanced furlough package was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on November 5.

The new furlough scheme which will pay 80% of furloughed staff salaries until March 2021 is set to be reviewed in January. The Self-Employed Income Support Grant offering has also been enhanced and extended.

For further details read the Government information here


Additional Guidance and Resources

Chancellor extends furlough scheme until March 2021

Job Retention Bonus – Details Released

Non-essential retailers in line for slice of £2.2 billion grants

‘Don’t turn your back on indie fashion retailers’, says Bira

Open letter to members from Bira CEO

Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

‘Non-essential’ retailers in line for grants totalling £2.2 billion

bira legal

‘Non-essential’ retailers forced to shut in England’s second lockdown could be eligible for grants totalling £2.2 billion, the Government has announced.

Businesses will benefit from two grant schemes: one for businesses that have had to close, and another scheme for further business support as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Money was transferred to councils in England on Friday, November 13, and businesses can expect to receive money covering the four-week period of national restrictions in the coming days.

Retail business owners are urged to check their council’s website for details.

The grant schemes are:

The Local Restrictions Support Grants, for businesses which have had to close or have been severely impacted by local restrictions (hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail sectors):

  • business owners will receive £1,334 per 4 weeks if they have a rateable value below £15,000
  • they will receive £2,000 per 4 weeks if they have a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • they will receive £3,000 per 4 weeks if they have a rateable value above £51,000

The Additional Restrictions Grant, provided by councils on a discretionary basis.

Local authorities will receive a sum of money equivalent to £20 per head of their local population to distribute to businesses which have been severely impacted by restrictions. For example, a council covering an area with a population of 100,000 would receive £2 million for this purpose. Those likely to be in receipt of these grants include large employers with significant fixed costs such as seaside attractions or local manufacturers, as well as sole traders, tour operators and market traders who do not have a rateable value.

This includes businesses such as pubs not serving substantial meals, betting shops, arcades and soft play centres in areas like Liverpool, Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire. Some places such as South Yorkshire and Liverpool City Region negotiated their support under this scheme prior to the national lockdown.

Businesses are urged to engage with their local authority and ensure that council officials have contact and payment information for them. They risk not receiving this vital support if they do not.

Read the full Government statement here


Additional Guidance and Resources

‘Don’t turn your back on indie fashion retailers’, says Bira

Open letter to members from Bira CEO

Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

Government releases further guidance for retailers

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

 

A New Era Of Trolley Bags

Trolley Bags Evo lifestyle products

British Reusable Shopping Bag Company Rebrand and Launch New Product After Surge in Consumers Usage During Pandemic

2020 has seen consumer shopping habits change dramatically due to Coronavirus, meaning Trolley Bags have never been more useful. Shoppers are wanting less contact in stores so are turning to the reusable shopping bag system as another way to keep them safe. Plus, use of Scan as You Shop services are on the rise, allowing shoppers to avoid even less contact. Trolley Bags have been the go-to product for consumers using this service, a simple process of racking the bags in the trolley before you start your shop and scan your items straight into the bags.

 

Well-loved British reusable shopping bag company Trolley Bags has had a complete rebrand to take it into 2020 in style. Moving away from its traditional and dated colour scheme to light, bright and a more on-trend brand theme to stay on trend this decade. A new logo, website, and to add to the excitement, an entirely new product range, Style Series, have been launched at the same time!

 

Style Series introduces the all-new Trolley Bags Midi. Adding to the Original four bag set for the large trolley, and the Express four bag set for the shallow trolley. There is now a middle set of three bags to fit the large trolley for those shoppers who aren’t buying for a large family. This is the first product of Trolley Bags to be full fabric too, rather than have a half-mesh bottom, which adds extra strength. Plus, they’ve introduced this product in a muted colour palette to attract a different audience and be more on-trend with current styles.

 

Trolley Bags are on a mission to end the use of single-use plastic bags and at the same time make food shopping easier and more enjoyable. The innovative design for a new kind of reusable bag system eliminates the need for any single carrier bags plus, speeds up the packing process.

 

For the last 7 years, Trolley Bags have helped over 1.5 million people put a stop to their consumption of single-use carrier bags and replace them with one easy system. And, on a recent survey we found out that 80% of people found food shopping less stressful now they use Trolley Bags.

 

To find out more including how to order please visit the supplier page by clicking on the button below.

Evo Lifestyle Products

Thousands tuned in for the Stars Underlines virtual event last night

Literally thousands of people tuned in last night to see the digital reveal of the 2020 winners of Stars Underlines Best Shop Awards.

Underlines Magazine, organisers of Stars Best Shop Awards, are thrilled to announce this year’s winners in collaboration with headline sponsor, LYCRA®. Now in their 12th edition, Stars are the only independent recognition of excellence in the sectors of lingerie, swimwear, nightwear and legwear in the United Kingdom & Ireland. This year the Awards were supported by LYCRA, Panache Lingerie, Anita & the BIRA.

2020 is a year like none other, but we feel it is more important than ever before to recognise the shops and outlets that have survived and thrived during the crisis. Congratulations to Stars’ winners!

Find out more about Stars Underlines 

 

 

 


Additional Guidance and Resources

Looking to reopen?  Make sure you’re Covid-secure

Need advice? Contact Bira Legal

Reopening? Stock up for Christmas at Bira Direct

Open letter to members from Bira CEO

Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

Government releases further guidance for retailers

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Not a member? Join Bira now

 

Important news for cookshops

We have been made aware that Trading Standards in some parts of England are prepared to let cookware shops open during lockdown by agreeing to classify them as hardware shops (and therefore essential).

Bira supported a cookshop to challenge a previous decision to close the shop and the retailer has received written confirmation from the relevant authorities.

However, we must stress that the decision is subject to the opinion of any particular Trading Standards officer and the shop must sell a significant amount of cookware as part of its total sales.

As a cook shop owner you may want to consider re-opening and referring any authority to this case. Alternatively, you may want to speak to your local authority/Trading Standards officer to make them aware of the decision elsewhere in the country and ask their view. Either way this may be an opportunity for you to open your business at this very important time.

Finally, if you do re-open and are subsequently asked to close, you must do so immediately to avoid any fines.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO, said: “We believe this ruling allows you to open and if challenges, please refer the police, local authorities or Trading Standards to this case study.

“If you are told to close, then you will need to do so. We do not believe that fines will be issued unless you continue to ignore the advice given to you by your relevant authority.”

  • The case number for anyone wishing to quote this decision in relation to reopening is: 287748

Additional Guidance and Resources

Looking to reopen?  Make sure you’re Covid-secure

Need advice? Contact Bira Legal

Reopening? Stock up for Christmas at Bira Direct

Open letter to members from Bira CEO

Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

Government releases further guidance for retailers

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

 

New freedoms for restaurants, pubs and cafes to offer takeaway services

Prepare your Food and Drink Business for Brexit

Restaurants, pubs and cafes will get automatic freedoms to provide takeaway services for another year, the Government has announced.

The measures help give these businesses the ability to continue to serve customers and retain their staff. It will also help them adapt to longer-term changes they may wish to introduce, such as serving their customers from market stalls, the Government has said.

This follows the relaxation of rules in March so businesses could offer a takeaway service during the pandemic, without having to go through a planning application process. This was due to end on March 23, 2021, but will now be extended by another year. The Government will also consider whether to make these reforms permanent.

Whilst pubs and restaurants are currently restricted from selling alcohol on their premises to take away (but can still provide delivery or click and collect) due to the national Covid restrictions in England, the law before March would have restricted pubs and restaurants from choosing to only offer food takeaway services.

The freedoms introduced in March and now extended mean pubs and restaurants can focus on selling food takeaways if they choose to, while being able to return to operating as a pub or restaurant from December 2.

In July, the government also made it easier for businesses and communities to host markets and stalls. The Government has now extended this option for the whole of next year, and will consider whether to make these reforms permanent.

The Government also helped businesses offer more alfresco dining by making it easier and less expensive to get an outdoor seating licence and is similarly keeping this under review.

Under the national restrictions currently in place, markets can sell takeaways from stalls. However, the stalls must not have seating areas.

Read the Government’s full statement here 


Additional Guidance and Resources

Thinking of offering a food delivery service? Here’s how

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Looking to buy a delivery van? Bira Bank can help

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Is a national circuit breaker the answer

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

 

‘Don’t turn your back on indie fashion retailers’, says Bira

Bira is backing an evocative new campaign by a group of independent fashion retailers highlighting their plight during England’s second lockdown.

The owners of shops in the Boutiques in Business group have used their window displays to demonstrate how they feel the Government has turned its back on them – by doing the same with their shop mannequins.

Fashion retailers are just one of the types of businesses deemed ‘non-essential’ and forced to close from November 5 to December 2, 2020, as part of measures to stop the spread of Covid-19

However, many independent retailers feel angry that some large chains – many with mixed retail spaces – have continued to open.

The mannequin protest was the idea of Naomi Walker who runs Bombshell Betty, a fashion retailer in Garstang. Supported by Amanda Leigh Slattery (Maya Maya) and Shirley Leader (Velvet & Rose) of Boutiques in Business, the idea has spread across the country.

Now Bira is encouraging other indies to support the cause.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “Bira fully support the actions and comments of Boutiques in Business. Using the mannequins is a great way of bringing this injustice to the attention of the public.

All specialist independent retailers are suffering unfairly because the large chains are free to trade despite only selling a small amount of essential items.

The guidelines say that a business must sell a significant amount of essential items to stay open and we want to see the authorities challenge the large general retailer chains (such as the Range, WH Smiths, B&M Bargains etc). on this. If you are a specialist indie retailer, you are literally seeing you products and your livelihood being sold in other non-essential shops.”

If you would like to get involved, email Amanda Leigh Slattery


Additional Guidance and Resources

Open letter to members from Bira CEO

Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

Government releases further guidance for retailers

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Is a national circuit breaker the answer

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

Open letter to Bira members from CEO Andrew Goodacre

Dear Bira Member,

I am writing to you to provide an update on the work being carried out by Bira on your behalf during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

As you are aware, from November 5, to December 2, 2020 inclusive, all ‘non-essential’ retailers were required to close for the second time this year as part of the Government’s measures to curb rising cases of coronavirus.

Bira disagrees with this decision and we continue to make a strong representation to the Government about this damaging decision. Our arguments to the Government are:

  • Shopping has never been safer. The difference in retail compared to March this year is that you have all implemented the safety protocol – perspex, safe distance notices, hand sanitiser and face coverings are mandatory. Retail does not spread the virus.
  • The implementation of essential vs non-essential has created an unfair business environment with the smaller specialist shops being punished. We would like to see more of the large general retailers closed
  • This four-week lockdown will cause more damage to business than the previous one that lasted 13 weeks. This is because of the time of year and the importance of November and December to all retailers
  • More financial support is needed because the current level of grants are insufficient to mitigate the financial impact of the lockdown

While we support the Government in protecting lives and the NHS, it is clear that we need clarity over the types of retailers allowed to remain open, and the types of products which can be sold.

I have been liaising with representatives from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and – as we have shared with you – the Government has listened to us and the official guidance does have recommendations for how the large stores should operate, reducing the sales of so-called non-essential items.

While there are still no restrictions on what a mixed retail space can sell, businesses with distinct areas of ‘non-essential’ and ‘essential’ products must close access to the areas of ‘non-essential goods’. Similarly, instore concessions selling non-essential items are prohibited.

However, the guidelines are not enforceable by law, and we want to see more done. Ultimately we want see a reversal of the decision to close down essential retail will be continuing to lobby for homeware retailers to be classed as ‘essential’.

We also believe more must be done to prohibit large chains, particularly those with mixed retail space, from continuing to open when they should also be required to close. We know members have been visited by authorities and in some cases closed. We expect the same approach with the large stores.

You can also help with our campaign. I would urge you all to contact your locals MP – recently a group of MPs have started to challenge these lockdown decisions because they share our concerns. Also, please sign this petition and share with friends, customers on all the social media channels.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our membership team on 0800 028 0245.

Andrew Goodacre

Bira Chief Executive

 

 


Additional Guidance and Resources

FREE VIDEO: Recover from lockdown by reaching local customers searching on Google for your products

Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

Government releases further guidance for retailers

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Is a national circuit breaker the answer

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

BREXIT: Border and Protocol Delivery Group Update

The latest news from Government relates to UK borders at the end of the transition period. Please find information and links below. 

HMRC letter to VAT registered traders

This week HMRC has written to VAT-registered traders in Great Britain urging them to act now to prepare for changes to trade with Europe that will apply from 1 January. The letter has been published here and you can read more about the actions businesses need to take here

Webinars to help businesses prepare

The government is continuing to deliver a series of webinars to support traders and hauliers in their preparations for the end of the transitional period. You can sign up to these webinars by using the following links.

Webinars for exporters of animals and products of animal origin to the EU

Webinars for businesses by sector

 

For more information, go to gov.uk/transition, or visit our Brexit hub.

 

 


Additional Guidance and Resources

Government releases further guidance for retailers

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Is a national circuit breaker the answer

Not a member? Join Bira now

Spring Fair @Home virtual forum to launch in 2021

Hyve Group announce changes to their 2021 show calendar: Spring Fair will return as an in-person event, 6th-10th February 2022

London, UK, 4 November 2020 – Hyve Group, the organiser of Spring Fair, the UK’s leading destination for home and gift retail, together with the co-located Jewellery & Watch and Fashion (JWF) and Glee at Spring Fair announce today changes to the scheduled event in 2021.

Moda, the national footwear show, also organised by Hyve and planned to co-locate at Spring Fair 2021 also announce today changes to its scheduled 2021 event.

Due to new UK government restrictions on the reopening of business conferences and exhibition halls, Spring Fair will no longer take place in February 2021. The next planned home, gift and fashion retail event will be Autumn Fair, together with Moda, at the NEC Birmingham on 5th-8th September 2021, while Spring Fair will return as an in-person event, 6th-10th February 2022.

Hyve and the team behind Spring Fair, JWF, Glee at Spring Fair and Moda are now working to deliver an enhanced virtual forum with product features and exclusive seminar content designed to educate and inform participants. More information on “Spring Fair @Home” will be available on the Spring Fair website, while “Fashion Together” can be found on the Moda website in due course.

Julie Driscoll, Managing Director – UK Retail says, “While it is regrettable that we won’t be able to meet in person at Spring Fair and Moda in February due to the new UK government rules, we are incredibly excited to host Spring Fair @Home and Fashion Together. Following the success of this year’s virtual forums, we’re looking forward to providing our clients and customers another touchpoint to be inspired and stay connected with the retail industry.”

Ian Taylor, Managing Director – NEC Group Conventions & Exhibitions, says: “We’re saddened to not be welcoming the retail community to the NEC for Spring Fair in February 2021, but are pleased to hear that retail professionals and suppliers will still have an opportunity to connect with each other in early 2021, albeit in a virtual environment with Spring Fair @Home. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the NEC in person for Autumn Fair and Moda in September 2021, with Spring Fair itself returning in February 2022.”

Sarah Ward, Chief Executive, The Giftware Association says, “Spring Fair @Home will be a great networking opportunity for the industry and a chance for businesses to stay connected. I am delighted that we are able to host the Gift of the Year 2021 Awards with Spring Fair as part of the virtual forum.”

Will Jones, Chief Operating Officer, Bheta says, “Spring Fair is an important platform, not only for BHETA members but also for the retail industry in the UK. I am very much looking forward to continuing our support and working together for Spring Fair @Home, and into 2021.”

Spring Fair continues to provide exclusive webinars, industry news and product updates that keeps the home and gift retail community informed, connected and inspired on The Community hub.

 

 

 


Additional Guidance and Resources

Government releases further guidance for retailers

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Is a national circuit breaker the answer

Not a member? Join Bira now

Bira calls for government intervention over retail restrictions

Bira is calling for government intervention over the types of ‘non-essential’ retail still taking place during England’s second lockdown.

Bira believes that some retailers – those with large mixed retail spaces – have been given an unfair advantage as they continue to open while many Bira members and other indies are forced to close for a month.

The Government has today (Friday, November 6) released further clarification over terms of trade however, Bira does not believe it goes far enough.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “We have been pushing for clarity and we are pleased to see some clearer guidance on the types of essential shop and the products available.

“However, we already have concerns that large stores are flouting the rules and would question the percentage of ‘essential’ items sold through the likes of B&M and The Original Factory Shop.

“We are also aware that Carpetright is open whereas we have advised all our members selling flooring to close.”

He added: “We have had lots of questions and complaints form members about the actions of other retailers and the unfairness of the regulations. I have raised all these issues with the Business Minister and BEIS since Monday and these guidelines seem to reflect some of the concerns we raised.”

Bira will be continuing to liaise with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for the best deal for its members and the wider independent retail sector.

Read the latest government guidance here

 

 


Additional Guidance and Resources

FREE VIDEO: Recover from lockdown by reaching local customers searching on Google for your products

Government releases further guidance for retailers

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Is a national circuit breaker the answer

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

Letter to Bira Direct Suppliers regarding the second national lockdown

Letter to Bira Direct Suppliers regarding the second national lockdown

Dear Valued Bira Direct Supplier,

I am writing to you to provide an update on the work being carried out by Bira on the Industry behalf during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, November 5, 2020, all ‘non-essential’ retailers were required to close for the second time this year as part of the Government’s measures to curb rising cases of coronavirus.

While we support the Government in protecting lives and the NHS, we have also been lobbying for clarity over the types of retailers allowed to remain open, and the types of products which can be sold.

Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre has been liaising with representatives from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Government has now provided some clarification of the terms of trade.

While there are still no restrictions on what a mixed retail space can sell, businesses with distinct areas of ‘non-essential’ and ‘essential’ products must close access to the areas of ‘non-essential goods’. Similarly, instore concessions selling non-essential items are prohibited.

However, we still do not believe this goes far enough and will be continuing to lobby for Homeware and Cookware retailers to be classed as ‘essential’. We are continuing to push Govt through our conversations with BEIS on the importance of the sector and will keep all members, retail and supplier partners updated.

Please see the latest government guidance here.

Yours faithfully,

Jeff Moody

Bira Commercial Director


Additional Guidance and Resources

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Is a national circuit breaker the answer

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

 

Government releases further guidance for retailers

Treasury Select Committee

Further guidance has been provided by the Government on the terms of trade for retailers during the current lockdown in England.

Along with listing the types of businesses which are deemed ‘essential’, and those that must close, there is also guidance on mixed retail spaces. The document states that where it is possible, and there are distinct parts to a business, only the area selling ‘essential’ goods should be operational.

It says:

  • A business selling a significant amount of essential retail may also continue to sell goods typically sold at non-essential retail. For example, a supermarket that sells food is not required to close off or cordon off aisles selling homeware.
  • Where a business selling essential retail has another, separate business embedded within it that is required to close, the embedded business must close. For example, an electronics business operating a concession within a supermarket must close, as would a bookshop business inside a garden centre.
  • Where a business has sufficiently distinct parts, and one section provides essential retail and one section provides non-essential retail, the non-essential sections should close to limit interactions between customers and the opportunity for the disease to spread. Sufficiently distinct sections might involve operating in separate buildings, across separate floors, a door between sections, using separate cashiers, or another clear demarcation between sections. For example a food shop may stay open, but a homeware section on a separate floor or separate building should close.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “We have been pushing for clarity and we are pleased to see some clearer guidance on the types of essential shop and the products available.

“However we already have concerns that large stores are flouting the rules and would question the percentage of essential items sold through the likes of B&M and The Original Factory Shop.

“We are also aware that Carpetright is open whereas we have advised all our members selling flooring to close.”

He added: “We have had lots of questions and complaints form members about the actions of other retailers and the unfairness of the regulations. I have raised all these issues with the Business Minister and BEIS since Monday and these guidelines seem to reflect some of the concerns we raised on your behalf.

“I want members to know that we listen and can make a difference!”

Bira will be continuing to liaise with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for the best deal for members.

Read the full Government document here

 

 


Additional Guidance and Resources

FREE VIDEO: Recover from lockdown by reaching local customers searching on Google for your products

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Is a national circuit breaker the answer

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now

 

Chancellor extends furlough scheme until March 2021

BIRA Cyber Aware Life updates

The Government has announced it will extend its furlough scheme in England until the end of March 2021, in an effort to protect businesses through the winter.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak also said that the self-employed income support grant will also increase from 55% to 80% of average profits – up to £7,500

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will now run until the end of March with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. There are currently no employer contribution to wages for hours not worked. Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for hours not worked. For an average claim, this accounts for just 5% of total employment costs or £70 per employee per month. The CJRS extension will be reviewed in January to examine whether the economic circumstances are improving enough for employers to be asked to increase contributions.

Similarly, support for millions more workers through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be increased, with the third grant covering November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.

The Chancellor also announced today an increase in the upfront guarantee of funding for the devolved administrations from £14 billion to £16 billion. This uplift will continue to support workers, business and individuals in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Read the Government’s full statement here


 

Additional Guidance and Resources

England lockdown: What counts as an ‘essential’ retailer

Forced to close? You can still offer click and collect

Non-essential retail and hospitality to shut in new lockdown in England

Should I be selling online? A simple guide to ecommerce

Is a national circuit breaker the answer

Are you ready for a second wave?

Got a question? Call our membership team on 0800 028 0245

Not a member? Join Bira now