ACS: Bank Closures Highlight Essential Services Provided by Local Shops

ACS has responded to the publication of a new report from consumer group Which? that warns of 60 bank branches closing every month, highlighting the role of convenience stores in continuing to provide banking services for local customers.

The report found that 2,868 branches will have closed between 2015 and the end of 2018, with Scotland, the South East and the North West seeing the most closures per region.

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Treasury Loses Almost £4bn to Illicit Trade in Alcohol and Tobacco

ACS has responded to the publication of HM Revenue and Customs’ report on the prevalence of non-duty paid alcohol and illicit tobacco in the UK, reiterating calls for targeted action at a local level to reduce the impact of the illicit trade on responsible retailers.

According to HM Revenue and Customs, the tobacco tax gap driven by the illicit market in cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco is estimated to be £2.5 billion in 2016-17. Of this, £1.9 billion was lost in tobacco duties and a further £0.5 billion in VAT.

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MPs Raise Concerns about Impact of Rates System on Retailers

A number of MPs have raised concerns about the cost of business rates and its impact on small businesses during a Westminster Hall debate on the subject this morning. 

Speaking during the debate, Labour MP and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group Ruth George referenced ACS research which shows that one in three small businesses have seen an increase in their rates bills since the last revaluation in 2017. 

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ACS: Local Shops Taking Responsible Action on Energy Drinks

ACS has given evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee who are currently holding an inquiry into the impact of energy drinks on children’s health. 

As part of the inquiry, the Committee are looking at what current action is being taken on the sale of energy drinks to children and whether regulation has a role to play, such as the introduction of a legal age restriction for energy drinks.

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ACS Welcomes Safe Car Wash App to Combat Modern Slavery

ACS has welcomed the launch of a new app to help consumers identify car washes that could be exploiting their workers.

The app has been developed by the Clewer Initiative, the Church of England’s campaign against modern slavery, and the Santa Marta Group, the Catholic Church’s anti-slavery project.

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Future National Living Wage Increases Must Not Come at the Expense of Jobs

ACS has called on the Low Pay Commission to ensure that future increases in wage rates do not negatively impact the labour market.  

Figures from the ACS Local Shop Report show that in the last three years, the number of jobs in the convenience sector has fallen from 407,000 in 2015 to 370,000 in 2017 despite the number of stores remaining stable.

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