The British Independent Retailers Association is calling for an extension in the Government’s Trade Credit Reinsurance Scheme.
Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre said the removal of the scheme as planned on June 30, 2021, could not come at a worse time for independent retailers.
In May, the Government announced that he temporary Trade Credit Reinsurance Scheme would close at the end of this month. At the time, Bira expressed concerns about this to the Government and, since then, research with members has confirmed they remain concerned about the end of the scheme.
“Despite the claim that there is a positive economic outlook and no need for this scheme, we have to recognise that any recovery for the so-called ‘non-essential’ retailers is very fragile,” Andrew said. “Trade credit is crucial to retail, especially with footfall still 35% below normal levels and restrictions still in place.
“Removal of this scheme at this moment in time is unnecessary.
“Most retailers who have been closed for eight or nine months over the past year will now be submitting accounts showing losses and increased debt. The danger is that the insurers will assess this risk and reduce or even remove credit. We experienced this while the scheme was in place, and fear for the worst once the scheme is closed.
“Our research suggests that 50% of our member agree with us. When businesses are trying to re-build their livelihoods, the last thing they need is loss of credit.”