The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has said it is involved in discussions with mayors of UK metropolitan cities to discuss “new ways” of supporting independent retailers post-pandemic.
The talks, which are being led by the group’s CEO Andrew Goodacre, have been looking at support for reforms to business rates and also creating funding to improve the local economic activity.
According to Bira, this funding would generate a stronger visitor economy on the highstreet and also help independent businesses create “partnerships” to “develop stronger high streets”.
So far, Goodacre has been part of discussions with teams from the mayoral offices of Birmingham, Liverpool, North of Tyneside and Cambridge/Peterborough.
Goodacre described the meetings as “positive” with the CEO noting that all metro mayors “confirmed” their commitment to independent retailers and “high streets in general”.
Goodacre said: “We already do a lot of work with central and local governments in promoting the importance of independent shops to the high street, and it was reassuring to hear that the metropolitan area and mayors are aligned with Bira.
“There is no doubt that people in authority want to see independents succeed and it is great to see funding being made available for innovation, activities and growth. I would urge all retailers to check the relevant websites to see if they can access this funding.”