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Bira expresses late Restart Grant concerns

The body claimed that many of its members have not yet received the funds from the distributing local authorities

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has voiced its disappointment at delays in the government’s Restart Grant distribution.

Retailers had been offered one-off grants of between £2,667 and £6,000 in March’s budget announcement in an effort to support the recovery of non-essential businesses.

However, Bira claimed that many of its members have not yet received the funds from the distributing local authorities.

Andrew Goodacre, CEO at the industry body, said: “We are disappointed to hear from members that there are ongoing delays with the distribution of the Restart Grants.

“In our view these should have been with business owners before the shops opened and now we are in May and still too many independent retailers are waiting.”

The trade organisation reported that local authority websites had posted that the grants would be handled by the end of April 2021, but this has now been changed to the following month.

Goodacre added: “All the data is with the local authorities as this is not the first time grants have been sent to businesses and we urge all local authorities to re-double their efforts. 

“Shops may be open but the owners still need all the support that is owed to them.”

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