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Retail leader calls on Government to extend business rates holiday

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The head of a leading retail organisation has called for the extension of the business rates holiday to protect independent retailers and jobs.

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), of which the National Association of Health Stores (NAHS) is part of, has called on the Government to make the extension to after April 2021.

A business rates holiday was announced following the outbreak of Coronavirus earlier this year, however, there has so far been no indication of what will happen when rate paying resumes next April. And so, Bira is calling for Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to immediately confirm an extension of the existing rates holiday beyond next April so that retailers are able to plan for the future of their businesses and protect jobs.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, commented: “Retailers are now planning ahead and in the absence of any other information, will be planning based on paying full rates which, in turn, will lead to job losses and less investment in the sector. We all hoped Covid would just impact 2020 but it is now obvious that the impact will stretch well into 2021 – retailers need to know that they have continued support with rates to maintain their businesses.

“The autumn budget has been cancelled and so we now need to know that the current rates holiday will be extended beyond 2021 if we are to protect livelihoods and jobs in this valuable sector. In these uncertain times retailers need certainty with regards their cost base.”

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