RSM calls for urgent action on business rates to support post-Covid retail recovery

Commenting ahead of the economic impact of coronavirus Select Committee tomorrow afternoon, Jacqui Baker, head of retail at RSM, said: ‘There has been winners and losers across the retail sector during the pandemic; but we are not out of the woods yet, meaning retailers need continued support which is flexible to cater for future turbulence.

‘Take the furlough scheme, there are still over half a million retail employees on furlough and many of these will be within the distribution centres as social distancing restrictions make it impossible to bring back staff. As uncertainty remains, a more flexible furlough scheme is needed to allow retailers to manage peaks and troughs of activity, as we come out of lockdown. 

‘Extending rates relief for retailers would be a real boost; but what is actually needed is urgent action on the business rates review to ensure when support is lifted retailers are paying the fair amount – releasing the stranglehold it currently has on many retailers.’ 

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