Bira: ‘Transparent and detailed support’ needed for independent retailers forced to shut in UK lockdown

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is calling for immediate access to financial support for independent retailers affected by the Government-imposed lockdown of the country.

At 8.30pm this evening (Monday March 23) Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a UK-wide lockdown including the closure of all ‘non-essential’ shops in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

According to Bira, shops which will be allowed to remain open are: supermarkets, pet stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, newsagents, banks and post offices.

Speaking after the measures were announced, Bira ceo Andrew Goodacre commented: “We understand the need to protect customers and employees from Covid19 – and so more shop closures were inevitable.

“We have already seen many Bira members make the decision before being told to do so. The list of those shops that can stay open is a logical list, except I would have included health stores which often perform an essential service to their community.

“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 the 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 models.”

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