Welcoming the temporary measures in the budget to small retailers, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said most of the 3.1 million UK retail workers are employed in firms that will not benefit from the latest business rates announcement. “The Government has missed a much-needed opportunity to help the retail industry,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.
“If the Government is to truly back business, it must engage in more extensive business rates reform to help all retailers and their employees through this period of transformation,” a BRC press release quoted Dickinson as saying.
Retailers are currently facing several issues, including changing shopping patterns due to technology, rising public policy costs and softening demand, she said.
“Rather than tinkering around the edges, struggling high streets require wholesale reform of business rates in order to thrive. The issue remains that the business rates burden is simply too high,” she said.
BRC welcomed the measures announced by the Treasury to invest new funding to boost high streets and town centres and facilitate re-invention to modern and diverse destinations.