Bira (British Independent Retailers Association, whose membership includes cookshops and housewares retailers) has welcomed the findings of a new publication by high street champion Bill Grimsey. ‘Against All Odds’ calls for more support for indie retailers, including the ‘writing off’ of debts accrued during the pandemic.
Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s ceo said: “It is always welcome when people analyse the independent retail sector and confirm what we have always known; that indie retailers have shown great resilience and creativity to deal with the pandemic and it is clear that they are at the heart of every good high street.
“The report also highlights the problem of debt to small businesses who would not normally have debt in their business model. The debt was taken on to deal with extensive lockdown periods in the past 16 months.
“Bira has continually campaigned for more support for independent retailers and the report has highlighted a real threat to their survival. We would like to see the Chancellor address the problem of the debt and remove business rates for these businesses so that there is more cash in the business to address the debt. This could be funded by the £2+ billion rates rebates returned by large essential retailers last year.”
For more on Bill Grimsey’s latest recommendations for high street regeneration, see http://www.vanishinghighstreet.com
Above: Bill Grimsey has updated his recommendations for boosting high streets to recognise the impact of Covid-19.