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Independent retailers call for ‘details and transparency’ during UK lockdown

By Huw Hughes

24 Mar 2020


Small business owners affected by the UK’s lockdown are in need of immediate access to financial support, according to the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira).

On Monday evening prime minister Boris Johnson ordered all ‘non-essential’ stores to shut for three weeks in a big to slow the growth of the coronavirus.

Under new measures, people are only permited to leave their houses in order to shop for essential supplies, for medical emergencies, to exercise once a day, or to travel to work when absolutely necessary.

But these new measures, however necessary, will undoubtedly put a huge strain on retailers across the country.

Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre has urged the government to offer independent retailers affected by the lockdown ‘details and transparency’ concerning financial support. He said: “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 is 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.”

Photo credit: Pexels, Artem Bali

Independent retailers