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Bira reacts to ‘road map’ with renewed calls for support

Speaking on behalf of many independent cookshops and housewares retailers, The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has expressed disappointment that non-essential retailers will not be able to reopen in England until April 12 (pending conditions).

In his ‘road map’ to coming out of national lockdown, PM Boris Johnson has announced that non-essential retail may reopen on April 12, as long as conditions are met. However, Bira’s ceo Andrew Goodacre said it was disappointing non-essential retailers would miss out on the Easter trading period.

He stated: “Whilst it is good for us to have a date, we are very disappointed that non-essential shops will miss the Easter period, especially as they also missed out on most of the busy festive period.

“We therefore want the Chancellor to recognise this in the Budget next week and make clear statements about the support that will be available for the next 12 months.

“Independent retailers are desperate to be open and serving their communities – they have always been safe and will continue to be so. In the meantime, we have large general retailers, and garden centres free to trade despite only selling a small amount of essential items with the prospect of being free from competition for the next seven weeks.”

* Bira has repeated its calls for the Chancellor to extend the business rates holiday for another year – and to announce this prior to the Budget on March 3, giving independent retailers as much notice as possible to plan their finances.


Top: Cookshops and housewares retailers that are currently shut can look forward to turning the ‘Open’ signs in the spring. Photo by Amina Filkins.

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