Representing cookshops and housewares stockists among its members, Bira (British Independent Retailers’ Association) has welcomed this week’s announcement that the government will help cut energy bills for businesses. Andrew Goodacre, Bira ceo said: “It will be a relief to all independent retailers on the high street as they can now focus on the very important final quarter of the year.”
In a survey conducted at the end of August to Bira members, 65% of business owners had said the original predicted price rise would force them to reduce the number of staff they had or reduce wages, while 40% were considering limiting opening hours, while 23% were looking to permanently or temporarily close their business once the proposed price hike came in October.
“Our focus also now turns to helping the government determine which businesses are vulnerable due the energy increases as we feel indie retailers fall into this category,” Andrew continued. “Rather than individual businesses, we need to show that the high street is a collection of businesses that support each other to make the place successful. No high street wants to see lots of empty shops so we need to focus on the vulnerability of the ‘place’.”