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5 Mar 2021

The meeting will take place on Friday 12th March at 10am and will be co-chaired by Ruth Cadbury MP and Selaine Saxby MP

3 Mar 2021

Key highlights include an extension to the business rates holiday and furlough scheme, as well as new £6000 "restart" grants for non-essential retailers.

23 Feb 2021

The report provides key insights into the social and economic contributions of the rural shop sector, including profiles of the entrepreneurs that run rural shops, the investments they make and...

18 Feb 2021

Leading industry bodies, including IRC members, have warned the Secretary of State that this notion puts the future of our town centres at serious risk

17 Feb 2021

The Scottish Government Finance Secretary plans to extend 100% business rates relief for all retailers to cover all of 2021/22

10 Feb 2021

Use this template to email your MP to help independent retailers survive the pandemic by delaying the return of business rates.

10 Feb 2021

Letter to Rishi Sunak signed by Tesco, B&Q, Waterstones, and members of the IRC, calls for the business rates system to be reformed to make it fairer for physical stores

9 Feb 2021

Legislation has been laid to increase the minimum amount that retailers must charge for a single use carrier bag from 5p to 10p from 30th April 2021

5 Feb 2021

Over 65 retail organisations, including many members of the IRC, have written to the Prime Minister raising concerns of increasing instances of violence and abuse against shopworkers

3 Feb 2021

Buy now pay later (BNPL) firms such as Klarna and Clearpay are to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority after a report warned of the risk of people running into "unseen debt".

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The ACT and other IRC members meet with under-secretary of state Paul Scully MP to discuss the future on independent retail

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News , Political News

Key members of the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) including the ACT and ActSmart, have met with Paul Scully MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets and also Minister for London, to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on independent retailers.

The IRC is a well-established organisation, bringing together like-minded trade associations with interests in the small and independent retail sector. The IRC represents c.100,000 independent retailers throughout the UK, creating a growing retail network, committed to the development and sharing of best practice among associations and their members engaged in the independent retail sector.


All IRC members All IRC member logos 

The lockdown has heavily affected high street retailers, impacting both essential and non-essential retailers in different ways. The meeting topics evaluated any lessons that we have so far learned from national lockdowns and ways in which we can move forward from this using government support.

The Minister acknowledged the investment that had been made by retailers to ensure COVID19 safe trading environments, and was keen to emphasis the governments desire to ensure that non-essential retail remain open if possible. He acknowledged the need for clear consistent messaging from government, but also asked for support with messaging locally to encourage consumers to take responsibility for shopping safely. He said he was keen to work with the IRC and listen to our input.

The need for targeted relief for businesses effected most was discussed, and the issues of rent and rates. Again the Minister listened and said he was ‘sympathetic' to the request to extend the moratorium on rents but that there needed to be an end date due to the impact on other areas of the economy. The need for urgent review of the rates system was also discussed, which the Minister acknowledged, and he invited the group to feed back further with ideas. The group also put forward the idea of a government voucher scheme, similar to the summer ‘eat out' initiative, to support local retailers which the Minister noted.

The IRC will be meeting with the minister once again early in the New Year, updates of this will once again follow. If you would like to provide any feedback or suggestions that could potentially be discussed in the meeting please email

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