Bira supports members through coronavirus

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is helping members access the emergency funds offered by the Government in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered the £30 billion package to help the UK economy respond to the coronavirus as part of his spring Budget.

Bira said the availability of the emergency cash follows a direct plea from Bira to the Treasury at the start of the outbreak.

Bira is now guiding its members through how to access the help which includes:

-Business rates abolished for one year for retailers and cafe owners in England with a rateable value of below £51,000;

-Sick pay payments refunded to small retail businesses with fewer than 250 staff for up to 14 days absence for anyone suspected to have coronavirus;

-‘Business Interruption’ loans of up to £1.2 million for small retail businesses;

-Any company eligible for small business rates relief (SBRR) or Rural Rate Relief may be eligible for a £3,000 cash grant

-New HMRC helpline for businesses concerned about paying its tax bill.

Bira ceo Andrew Goodacre said: “Bira asked the Government for an emergency business fund to support independent retailers in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, and they listened.

“It looks like the Government has made real effort to support small businesses. But we remain concerned for those retailers with a rateable value of above £51,000, especially those with less than 250 employees. These are also small retail businesses but they are not getting much help – if any.”

“We would also like to see Ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland agree to match the changes to business rates set out for England.”

Bira is keeping its members up to date with the latest health and safety advice.


Bira ceo Andrew Goodacre

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