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Extend rates holiday plea says Bira
12th October 2020

By Justine Thompson

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been urged to confirm an extension of the existing business rates holiday beyond next April, to allow retailers to plan for the future and protect jobs.

The call came from the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), parent body to the Pet Product Retail Association.

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.

Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre 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.

“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.

“In these uncertain times retailers need certainty with regards to their cost base."

Bira is also campaigning for a raft of measures to help future-proof the high street.