The business rates holiday must be extended after April 2021 to save businesses and jobs, says the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira).
Bira is calling for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to immediately confirm an extension of the existing rates holiday beyond next April – so that retailers (including cookshops and housewares stockists) are able to plan for the future of their businesses and protect jobs.
A business rates holiday was announced followed the outbreak of coronavirus earlier this year however, there has so far been no indication of what will happen when rate paying resumes next April.
Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s ceo said: “Retailers are now planning ahead and in the absence of any other information, will be planning based on paying full rates which in turn will lead to job losses and less investment in the sector.”
He continued: “We all hoped Covid would just impact 2020 but it is now obvious that the impact will stretch well into 2021 – retailers need to know that they have continued support with rates to maintain their businesses.
“The autumn budget has been cancelled and so we now need to know that the current rates holiday will be extended beyond 2021 if we are to protect livelihoods and jobs in this valuable sector.”
Andrew concluded: “In these uncertain times retailers need certainty with regards their cost base.”
Top: Bira is campaigning for the high street.