The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), has voiced concerns the Treasury’s £4.6 billion will not sustain retailers through the new national lockdown in England.
On Tuesday January 5 2021 the Chancellor announced a raft of measures to help retailers and other businesses impacted by the new lockdown.
The measures were announced by the Prime Minister on Monday night as part of further efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus and includes the closure of all non-essential retail and hospitality. However, Bira is concerned that, with no confirmed date for reopening, the funding will not be enough to keep retailers afloat.
Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said "The extra support cannot come soon enough. And while we certainly welcome the extra money being provided to closed businesses, on top of the existing grants, the problem is that we have no end date to this lockdown."
"Our fear is that this will not be enough to help businesses survive and protect those all important jobs. The Government need to keep an open mind and be prepared to offer more support if this lockdown looks like being longer than they envisage at the moment. We would also like to see the interest-free period for loans extended and the issue of longer-term business rates relief addressed so that businesses can plan ahead."
Bira works with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes, supporting and informing their members with access to a wealth of business benefits. Bira also ensures members are represented at all levels, getting the voice of independent retail heard at the top. Find out more at www.bira.co.uk.