News Independents Welcome High Street Support

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Independents welcome high street support
25th November 2019

By Karen Pickwick

The British Independent Retailers Association, which represents thousands of independent retail businesses across the UK, has welcomed the Conservatives’ proposal to support high streets if they are re-elected.

After a three-year campaign, Bira – parent group of the Pet Product retail Association – says it is pleased to see a significant reduction in rates proposed and a fundamental review of rates.

Bira has been working with the Government over that past three years to offer a solution to the outdated and unfair rates system. At a debate at the Houses of Parliament, led by Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, Bira outlined its proposal to create a cost-neutral solution to rates, creating a £12,000 automatically-applied allowance for small independent businesses.

CRUCIAL

Andrew Goodacre, CEO of Bira said: “The proposed 50% reduction in business rates is a crucial and significant support for the high street and for small independent retail businesses. The average business rates for small independents are around £24,000 so the proposed reduction of 50% is in line with our own proposal given to the Government.

“While we wholeheartedly support the proposal and believe it will make the difference between survival or closure for small retailers, what we really need for long-term survival is the fundamental review of rates that has now been announced.

“It is in line with the findings of the Treasury Select Committee’s report on business rates that said plainly that the business rates system is broken. We look forward to working with the Government to ensure that a new system is effective and is implemented quickly for the benefit of business.”

Bira says it would also like to see more of a commitment to the high street from the other political parties and is committed to working with the future Government to keep the ‘Great British high street’ vibrant and fit for the future.