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7 May 2021

Based at Activate Learning's Bracknell & Wokingham College campus this brand new workshop is the latest addition to their expanding number of Cytech training workshops across the country.

7 May 2021

Pennine Cycles, shortlisted last year for two awards in the Best Small Shops competition, have now been nominated in the BikeBiz Awards

6 May 2021

Maybe* take examples from successful businesses that used social media to flourish despite the pandemic

5 May 2021

The Government has agreed an amendment to the Financial Services Bill which will enable shops to offer cashback to customers without making a purchase.

29 Apr 2021

Armed with research data from Maybe*, a panel of retail industry expertshave collaborated to create this whitepaper with one goal - to help businesses thrive in this new era of uncertainty.

28 Apr 2021

The Bank of England has released free training materials for retailers with the aim of refreshing awareness of how to check banknotes.

28 Apr 2021

ACT members can receive excellent benefits with NearSt, a powerful platform that encouragers more shoppers through the doors of specialist cycle shops

27 Apr 2021

Defra has just confirmed that the amendments to the Single Use Carrier Bags Charges (England) Order 2015 will not be coming into force on 30th April 2021 as originally...

26 Apr 2021

A summary of what each party's manifesto will mean for small shops ahead of the Welsh Parliamentary elections on 6th May.

23 Apr 2021

A summary of what each party's manifesto will mean for small shops ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary elections on 6th May.

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BA Issues Open Letter Calling on Government to Reclassify Bookshops as Essential Retailers

Posted on in Business News

ThBAe Booksellers Association (BA), member of the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) has today written to key government Ministers and selected Lords letter calling on the Government to classify bookshops as essential retailers therefore allowing them to reopen under current lockdown restrictions in England, and laying the groundwork for the essential designation to be implemented for future lockdowns.

The open letter, written by the Bookseller's Association MD, Meryl Halls, to Minsters at BEIS, HMCLG and DCMS outlines the many ways in which bookshops provide an essential contribution to society, from the proven links between reading and improved mental wellbeing, to providing educational resources to children and adults, to contributing to local economies.

The BA argues that the Christmas trading period is the most important time of year and can make or break the sustainability of a local bookshop. The BA draws on the example of garden centres being belatedly classified as essential due to them being deemed beneficial to the nation's health, while avoiding catastrophic losses should the sector have missed out on Spring trading.

The letter also highlights the inconsistencies within the current definitions of essential retail, underlining the commercial disadvantage faced by bookshops, with essential retailers that sell books being allowed to remain open, while booksellers themselves are forced to shut up shop.

Meryl Halls, MD at the Booksellers Association, said: "On behalf of our members, we urge the Government to categorise bookshops as essential retailers. Bookshops play a unique part in the culture of our country and books have a crucial role to play in the health and well-being of our population. Bookshops have been designated as essential in other countries, and the ‘essential' categorisation will acknowledge the crucial role that bookshops play in our culture, economy and wider society."

Echoing the words of Philip Pullman, Halls added: "Bookshops are lanterns of civilisation and, for many, beacons of hope. We urge the Government to consider classifying them as essential retailers."

The BA's open letter to Minsiters calling on bookshops to be classified as essential can be read in full here.

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