Bira provides insight into its demands ahead of Autumn Statement

The British Independent Retailers Association has set high expectations for the government’s Autumn statement after a difficult year.

Bira has said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has some tough hurdles ahead of him to create a budget on 22 November which will have a positive impact on the high street and retail sector in the coming year.

Andrew Goodacre, CEO of Bira, said: “With the November budget approaching, we are eager to express our expectations and hopes for the forthcoming policies that will significantly impact the retail sector.

“We believe that the proposed measures can pave the way for a robust and sustainable economic recovery, benefiting both businesses and consumers alike and we wish for the government to stand up and take note of the following requests from us to help rebuild our high street.”

The association outlined some issues that it feels need to be addressed.

This includes business rates, Bira explained “It is imperative that the government considers retaining the current retail discount at 75 per cent for businesses with a rates payable value of up to £110,000 per annum.

“To promote a stable business environment, we urge the freezing of the rates multiplier, along with the implementation of measures that provide certainty to businesses, fostering an environment conducive to investment. Making the current rates discount permanent would be a significant step in this direction.”

Bira highlighted the need for an introduction of an allowance in corporation tax which would be a similar system to the system for income tax, the move would be instrumental in supporting businesses.

“Reintroducing tax-free shopping is critical to stimulating retail activity, not only in major urban centres but also in all tourist destinations across the country,” added the Association. “By reinstating this system, the government can foster increased spending, catering to the rising number of tourists and promoting economic resilience within the retail sector.”

The association also recognised the increase of the National Minimum wage as a necessity.

It then continued with highlighting the need for the continuation of business grants, which are designed to support small enterprises.