Vin Vara, owner and managing director of London’s Tool Shop chain, has been elected to serve as the national president of the British Independent Retailers Association (bira).
He took on the role today (Wednesday May 11) at the bira High Street Conference, which is being held at the Chateau Impney in Droitwich.
Vin commented: “It fills me with excitement to represent our association as president, in a year in which membership growth and service usage will be key drivers of development for a unique body, which provides a buying service, a booming bank and a credit card payment handling scheme that turns over more than a billion pounds a year.”
In his acceptance speech, he highlighted the importance of bira in assisting and representing independent retailers numbering more than a quarter of a million in the UK – two out of three shops in the country – ‘proof that Napoleon was quite right to describe the British as “a nation of shopkeepers”’.
Politically, the EU referendum and the advent of the new Small Business Commissioner would themselves set the agenda, he said, for an “exciting” year in which bira would continue to press government directly as it had done, with much success, on business rates in previous years.
In Vin’s year as national president, the association said it will also take a huge step forward in bringing all of its staff together in new space at its Birmingham headquarters.