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A vaccine-boost for the UK economy?

Will the Covid-vaccine be a shot in the arm for the UK economy and save the British High Street? Economists at the BoE remain optimistic that British households will go on a spending spree when restrictions are lifted. The Bank expects £6.25bn out of estimated £125bn in extra savings to be spent in a post-Covid boost. But will this be enough to fuel an economic recovery for retailers?

Disrupting high street

December retail sales figures were much worse than predicted. With a record number of shops disappearing from the high street the increasing shift to online shopping threatens to permanently alter the landscape of towns and cities. On the other hand, Central London retail investment doubled in the last quarter of 2020, accounting for 55% of all transactions last year. Seeing many lesser-known brands now taking over vacant high street stores.

Calls for business rates reform

While prime locations remain in high demand the future of other high street shops across the rest of the UK is less promising. Especially when the current moratorium on rental payments ends. Currently, there are 250,000 SMEs in distress. Now, the call for business rate reform has been also backed up by large household names such as Tesco, B&Q and Waterstones.

Mass vaccine rollout promises a “significant return to normality“. But without further support, such as extended business rate holiday and 5 % VAT reduction or introduction online tax, shops that are at the heart of communities will have no other choice but to fold.

If you are worried about your business continuity, contact us today on 0800 118 2948 to discuss available options.

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