It is 'vital' that we return to high streets on April 12
Retail industry representatives say it is "vital" that we return to high streets on April 12.
The British Chamber of Commerce, which has been working throughout the pandemic to champion the cause of businesses across the country, welcomes re-opening of non-essential retail with safety measures in place.
Chamber co-executive director Claire Walker said: “As the economy slowly re-opens, and companies look to get back on their feet, it is vital people return to their high streets in line with COVID-safe rules to back local businesses.
“Firms given the green light to reopen will be taking a safe proportionate and risk-based approach to returning to work.
“We all should play our part in recovery by supporting businesses in our communities, who have weathered unbelievable difficulties in the past year.”
The organisation's regional branches nationwide help firms of all sizes, and chamber opinions are regularly sought by policy-makers and parliamentarians.
The organisation has helped shape the UK’s retail agenda for more than 150 years.
The group set out goals for this year’s budget, and broadly welcomed measures revealed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak that are designed to help businesses thrive in post-COVID times.
Chamber director general Dr Adam Marshall said: “The Chancellor listened and acted on our calls for immediate support to help struggling businesses reach the finish line of this gruelling marathon and to begin recovery.
“Extensions to furlough, business rates relief and VAT reductions gave firms a fighting chance, not only to restart, but also rebuild.
“We particularly welcomed the massive super deduction investment incentive the Chancellor put in place for the next two years.
"This responds directly to our call to encourage those businesses that can invest and grow.
“While no business will relish paying higher rates of Corporation Tax in future, the impact of the chancellor’s tough decision is blunted by the big new incentives for investment, lower rates for the smallest firms and the extension of coronavirus support measures in the short term.”
Dr Marshall said businesses had been reassured about the future, provided they are able to restart and rebuild according to the UK Government’s road map second step rules relaxation.
"That recovery starts on April 12."