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Bira calls for “details and transparency” in support for indies in lockdown

Tom Bottomley
25 March 2020

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is calling for immediate access to financial support for independent retailers hit by the Government’s lockdown of the UK, which includes the closure of non-essential stores, in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Bira CEO, Andrew Goodacre, said small independent retailers affected by the new shut-down measures need “details and transparency” when it comes to accessing the support available to them.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Monday to announce the UK-wide lockdown, which means Brits will only be able to travel out of their homes for essential goods, medical needs, and brief exercise.

Speaking after the measures were announced, Goodacre commented: “We understand the need to protect customers and employees from COVID-19 and so more shop closures were inevitable. We have already seen many members make the decision before being told to do so.

The list of those shops that can stay open is a logical list. It is now even more important for the details of the various support packages to be made available in detail and with transparency. We are still hearing about local authorities claiming not to know about the grants, and there’s limited information on the employment protection grant.

We note that closed shops can still trade online and deliver products, and Bira will be helping members adjust their business model.”

Shops which will be allowed to remain open are supermarkets, pet stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, newsagents, banks, health food stores and post offices.

Visit our dedicated COVID-19 content hub.

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