The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has responded to the announcement that UK interest rates have made the biggest jump in 27 years. The Bank of England stated today (August 4) that it has raised interest rates from 1.25% to 1.75% to try and curb rising prices.
Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “It’s no surprise that interest rates have risen today but we are surprised by the size of the increase. We accept that the Bank of England needs to bring inflation under control, but there also has to be recognition that increasing interest rates will further dampen consumer confidence and reduce expenditure on the high street.
“Interest rate rises also increase the cost of borrowing for businesses, and many independent retailers have more debt due to the pandemic. So reduced consumer spending and higher costs is a double whammy for these business owners.”
He added: “Because of this impact we feel that the government should do what it can to reduce the cost of being in business by removing business rates for the rest of the year. Without a support package for business, we run the risk of seeing many more perfectly good high street businesses closing through no fault of their own.”
Bira works with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes, and its goal is ‘to make every member feel supported, informed and inspired’. Find out more at: bira.co.uk