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Gov should ‘remain flexible’ when lifting retail ban, says BRC

In order to prevent further losses, Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the BRC, has said the government must act on three vital issues – ‘rents, rates and grants’

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said the government should “remain flexible” and allow non-essential retailers to reopen as soon as the data suggests it is safe to do so. 

The statement comes in response to Boris Johnson’s roadmap’ out of lockdown, where the PM said it is possible that non-essential retail could resume trading on 12 April. 

However, the organisation has warned that the “heavy impact of the pandemic” may result in some stores never reopening, with the group revealing that the total cost of lost sales to non-food stores during lockdown is now over £22bn. 

In order to prevent further losses, Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the BRC, has said the government must act on three vital issues – “rents, rates and grants”.

She said: “To avoid further job losses and permanent job closures, the Chancellor must announce a targeted business rates relief from April and extend the moratorium on debt enforcement as well as removing state aid caps on Covid business grants. 

“This would relieve struggling businesses of bills they cannot currently pay and allow them to trade their way to recovery.”

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