ACS Calls for Urgent Reform of Business Rates ahead of 2017 Budget

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has called on the Government to implement a series of measures on business rates, employment costs and duty rates to help local shops and other small businesses.

In its submission ahead of the Chancellor’s first Autumn Budget on 22nd November, ACS has reiterated its calls for an overhaul of the business rates system, with urgent attention required to allow businesses to appeal their rates.

The submission calls for:

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Campaign to Keep Gluten Free Customers Safe

ACS is supporting a campaign from Coeliac UK to raise awareness around gluten free customers and what businesses can do to keep them safe.

Coeliac UK estimate British food businesses are missing out on £100m of gluten free business, and that 90% of people on a gluten free diet ate out in the last month. According to Mintel, the UK gluten free market was estimated to be £247 million in 2015.

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Food Foundation Toolkit to Help Retailers Sell More Veg

UK consumers are buying two thirds less veg than the amount recommended by health experts. According to Government guidance on a healthy diet, 20% of our shopping should be made up of vegetables, but in reality we only reach 7.2%. Figures from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation show that as many as 20,000 premature deaths annually in the UK could be avoided if we all ate more veg.

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Book Your Place at Heart of the Community 2017

Heart of the Community 2017 is just a few weeks away, where High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP will address retailers on the Government's plans to help high streets and small businesses.

Jake Berry was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government on 14th June after retaining his Rossendale and Darwen seat in the 2017 General Election. His responsibilities include local growth policies, Local Enterprise Partnerships, community rights and high streets.

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ACS  Raises Concerns over EU Tobacco Track and Trace Proposals

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores)has raised concerns about the complexity of proposals to track the progress of legitimate tobacco products through the supply chain.  

New draft regulations from the EU Commission would require UK retailers and wholesalers to register and pay to receive unique ‘identifier codes’ in order to sell tobacco products.

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Local Government Minister Intervenes to Speed up Allocation of Rate Relief

ACS has welcomed Local Government Minister Marcus Jones’ intervention to speed up the process of rebilling businesses that are waiting for rate relief.

In a Commons statement, he said: “The Government has been consistently clear that it expects local authorities to make rapid progress in helping business by implementing these relief schemes.

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ACS to Submit Evidence to Inquiry on Bottle Recycling

The Environmental Audit Committee has relaunched its inquiry into disposable coffee cups and plastic bottles, looking at ways to reduce the level of waste created by those products. 

ACS has reiterated its concerns about a possible deposit return scheme for bottles and cans, outlining the problems that a scheme would cause for retailers and urging the Government to focus on effective measures to increase recycling rates.

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New Polymer £10 Note Enters Circulation Today

Britain’s new £10 polymer note has entered circulation today. Over one billion of the notes have now been printed and issued, meaning we will begin to see them in our wallets and tills over the next few weeks.

The polymer note features raised dots in the top left corner, which have been included to help blind and partially sighted users to identify the value of the note.

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Lords Raise Concerns over ‘Excessive’ Check, Challenge, Appeal Requirements

ACS has welcomed comments from the Earl of Lytton in a House of Lords debate on the government’s Check, Challenge, Appeal system for business rates appeals.

During the debate, the Earl raised concerns about the processes that businesses had to go through just to access the check, challenge, appeal system, suggesting that they were ‘excessive and intrusive’.

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New £10 Note to Enter Circulation This Week

There are just three days to go until the new polymer £10 note enters circulation. 

The note, which will be issued on 14 September 2017, features Jane Austen and is 132mm x 69mm. The current paper £10 note features Charles Darwin and is 142mm x 75mm.

The paper £10 will be withdrawn from circulation in Spring 2018. Notice will be given 3 months prior to the withdrawal date.

As with any change in banknote design, all businesses that handle cash need to plan and prepare for the introduction of the new notes.

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