News Call To Abolish Business Rates For Another Year

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Call to abolish business rates for another year
12th January 2021

By Karen Pickwick

The British Independent Retailers Association is calling for business rates to be abolished for another year following a report from the British Retail Consortium, revealing the true impact of covid-19 on shopper footfall.

Key findings in BRC’s ‘ShopperTrak Footfall Monitor’ for December 2020 suggest total year-on-year footfall for 2020 fell by 43.4%, with high streets the worst performing location type for the fifth consecutive month.

Following the report, Bira – parent group of the Pet Product Retail Association – is calling for business rates to be abolished until 2022. They are currently due to be reinstated this April following a freeze through the pandemic.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “These figures are a clear indication the impact of lockdowns and covid-19. Even when shops were open, the high streets (where most independent retailers are located) were only operating at 70% of the normal footfall.

“The situation has made retailers even more vulnerable than they might normally have been at this time of year, and that is why we believe the Government support measures do not go far enough.

“Furthermore, if ever the Government needed evidence that business rates need removing for non-essential retail in 2021/22, here it is.”

Editor’s note: The figures cover all retails sectors. It should be noted that pet stores are considered essential retailers so the figures may not be representative of our trade.