Government “not doing enough” to support high-streets, shoppers say

Shops retail COVID-19

More than half of consumers (53%) believe that the government is still not doing enough to support the retail and hospitality businesses on their high-streets, new research by retail analysts, Maybe* Tech suggests.

A month after all ‘non-essential’ stores were forced to close their doors, the survey of 2,000 consumers also found that 85% were concerned that their favourite high-street businesses may not survive the current national lockdown.

Commenting on the survey’s findings, British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) chief executive officer Andrew Goodacre, called for an extension of the rates holiday for the whole of 2021/22 and an extension of the rent moratorium, in a bid to better support vulnerable businesses.

“This important research shows how much people care about their high-street,” he said.

Independent retailers have never been more vulnerable and now is not the time to remove the support that was made available last March.

“We must see the extension of the rates holiday for the whole 2021/22 and an extension of the rent moratorium.

“By doing this, the high street will every chance of recovering and servicing the needs of its communities – it is what the people want.”

Maybe* Tech chief executive officer Polly Barnfield OBE added: “There is a genuine concern among the public that our high-street businesses aren’t receiving the level of support that they need in these circumstances.

“The government needs to address this situation by either offering more support to struggling businesses or urgently improve its messaging to highlight how it is helping the high street.

“A large amount of consumers fear for the futures of their favourite retailers which is testament to the value that we place on our high-streets.

“Our bricks and mortar businesses mean so much to our local economies and communities, and when they re-open, we have to go and support them.”

To help high-streets recover from Covid-19, the Maybe* team has created Local Rewards – a nationwide program that increases local spend by connecting shoppers, local businesses and places via social media, transactions and chat.