Bira: more support needed for small independent retailers through Covid-19 emergency

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has announced that it is ‘continuing in its efforts to get the best deal for its members’ during the coronavirus crisis.

Bira has already lobbied for extra support for independent retailers following the outbreak of Covid-19.

However, the trade body’s ceo Andrew Goodacre said more must be done to protect businesses from collapse. Some of the measures that Bira would like to see implemented include:

-Financial support for self-employed people who have had to stop working;

-Government intervention allowing independent retailers to claim on their insurance policy for business interruption;

-Improved guidance for banks lending under the new business interruption loan scheme;

-Extra support for landlords so they are able to work with their tenants when businesses have been closed.

Andrew said: “We would like to see direct financial support to the self-employed independent retailers who have had to close their business. Our members were delighted to see support for their employees, but how do they cope with no income? I think a similar scheme to the employee protection scheme (80% of income covered) would be appropriate.”

Measures that Bira has already successfully campaigned for include: the reduction and subsequent removal of business rates; provision of grants from local authorities; support for employees through the employee protection grant; and hardware/DIY stores and health food stores identified as essential services so they are allowed to continue trade during UK lock-down.

To visit Bira’s new coronavirus hub click here

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