This ad will be closed automatically in X seconds.

Bira calls for year’s business rates freeze

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), is calling for business rates to be abolished for another year. The plea for Government action follows a damning report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which reveals the impact of Covid-19 on shopper footfall.

According to the BRC’s latest report, year-on-year footfall for 2020 fell by 43.4% overall and  by 49.5% on the UK’s high streets.

The last quarter of 2020 saw nearly half the footfall compared to the same period in 2019 – a decline of 48.4%. Northern Ireland saw the lowest footfall decline of all regions with a drop of 47.2%, followed by Scotland at 50.2%. Wales saw a decline of 52.3.1%.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s ceo said: “These figures are a clear indication the impact of lockdowns and Covid-19. Even when shops were open, the high streets – where most independent retailers are located – were only operating at 70% of the normal footfall.”

“The situation has made retailers even more vulnerable than they might normally have been at this time of year,” he continued, “and that is why we believe the Government support measures do not go far enough.”

“If ever the Government needed evidence that business rates need removing for non-essential retail in 2021/22, here it is.”

Business rates are currently due to be reinstated this April following a freeze on retail business rates throughout the pandemic.

WBD celebrations will continue to take place on Thursday 4 March despite any potential ongoing lockdown restrictions....
Global balloon company has launched two new on-trend colours for 2021....
The bespoke skills hub will support members with valuable downloadable resources. ...
Live and on-demand education sessions helped party and Halloween retailers looking for ways to optimise their sales....
Amscan's Jen Wilson reveals what's in store for this year's celebrations....
The next three days will give attendees access to a whole new way of doing business....
Get the latest news sent to your inbox
Subscribe to our daily newsletter