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comment The Roadmap to Recovery


Andrew Goodacre, CEO of British Independent Retail Association (BIRA), comments on the changing landscape we now face in the roadmap to normality.


W


hilst it has been a difficult winter for retailers being closed over the festive period of 2020 and into the


new year, things are starting to look up. We are pleased to have a date (April 12th) when non-essential shops can re-open. It is frustrating that this re-opening is after Easter, and once again specialist retail misses another good sales opportunity, after missing out on most of the crucial festive period. Re-opening is positive, and yet it is only the beginning of the recovery for independent retail. That is why we have been pushing the government to maintain key elements of the business support package such as an extension of the business rates holiday and the furlough scheme. The businesses that have been closed were perfectly good businesses pre-Covid, and yet they are more


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vulnerable than they were last March. However, these very same businesses are determined to come back stronger and all they need is some encouragement and support from the government to do so. Independent retailers will show all their creativity, entrepreneurial flair and resilience to meet the need of their customer and communities – all they need is the opportunity to do so.


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