The British Independent Retailers Association has welcomed the findings of a new report by high street champion Bill Grimsey.
‘Against All Odds’ calls for more support for independent retailers post-pandemic, including the writing off of debts accrued during this time.
The Grimsey Report warns that if the Government fails to intervene, up to 50,000 independent businesses could collapse.
Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “It is always welcome when people analyse the independent retail sector and confirm what we have always known; that indie retailers have shown great resilience and creativity to deal with the pandemic and it is clear that they are at the heart of every good high street.
“The report also highlights the problem of debt to small businesses who would not normally have debt in their business model. The debt was taken on to deal with extensive lockdown periods in the past 16 months.
“Bira has continually campaigned for more support for independent retailers and the report has highlighted a real threat to their survival.
“We would like to see the Chancellor address the problem of the debt and remove business rates for these businesses so that there is more cash in the business to address the debt. This could be funded by the £2+ billion rates rebates returned by large essential retailers last year.”