The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) called today for a “100% rates relief” for small retailers as they face falling demand and spiralling costs.
The trade group was responding to news that UK inflation has hit 10.1%, which it says further depress the economy, consumer confidence and ultimately consumer expenditure.
Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO said: “It is also very damaging to independent retailers who are now facing reduced demand whilst their own costs (both business and personal) are spiralling out of control.
“It is also very damaging to independent retailers who are now facing reduced demand whilst their own costs (both business and personal) are spiralling out of control.
“For example, an independent retailer has just seen a 500% increase in the energy bills, the sort of increase that could wipe out the profits for the year.
“Small retailers can no longer wait for the government to take action to help businesses through this crisis. All the focus is on helping households and yet businesses have been facing inflation busting increases in cost for the past two years.
“It started with supply chain disruption, and even last October we reported energy bills rising by 300%. We asked for support then, prior to the budget, and none was forthcoming. Whoever becomes Prime Minister has to have a plan to support the high street before businesses, livelihood and jobs disappear. In the short term I would like to see 100% rates relief introduced for smaller retailers, an energy price cap for businesses and more funding/ incentives for businesses ti invest in greener technology and reduce energy usage. It is disappointing to hear the silence on the business crisis from leadership debate and we need positive action now.”