Business Groups Call for Urgent Action to Address Cost of Business Rates

Business groups including the Association of Convenience Stores have written to the Chancellor, calling for urgent action to address the problems with the business rates system in the 2017 Budget.

The letter highlights concerns over the scheduled business rates increase of 3.9% in April 2018 set as a result of the Retail Prices Index reaching that level in September of this year, noting that overall, the increase will amount to around £1.1bn more being paid by UK businesses. The 3.9% annual increase is the highest since 2012.

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ACS Gives Evidence to Environmental Audit Committee on Issues with Deposit Return Scheme

ACS has given evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee, raising concerns about the practicality, cost and effectiveness of a deposit return scheme in the UK.

The Committee are considering ways to reduce littering and increase plastic bottle recycling rates from the current rate of 74%.  The hearing included looking at the way that products are manufactured, the current recycling infrastructure, and Deposit Return Schemes that have been implemented in other countries with mixed results.

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Food Foundation Announces New Pledges At Veg Summit

Major supermarkets, food-on-the-go chains and manufacturers such as Lidl, Greggs and Mars Food will today [24 October] announce plans to put more veg into ready meals and soups, into on-pack recipes and in promotional deals. Contract caterers are also making pledges, which will see more vegetables included in millions of meals going into schools, work canteens, care homes and armed forces’ canteens.

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ACS: Urgent Action Needed in Budget to Mitigate Impact of 2018 Rates Increase

ACS has reiterated its calls to the Chancellor to make the business rates system fairer in his first Autumn Budget on November 22nd.

The call comes as the Retail Prices Index for September 2017, which determines the level of the business rates increase for the following year, has reached 3.9%, which is the highest September rate since 2011.  

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High Streets Minister Outlines Support for Local Shops at Heart of the Community Conference

High Streets Minister Jake Berry will set out the Government’s plans to support local shops in an address to the annual ACS Heart of the Community Conference in London today (Tuesday).

The conference, held at Church House in Westminster on October 17th, features a range of speakers who shared their experiences of engaging in their communities, both with customers and local decision makers, and the benefit that local engagement has had on their businesses.

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Round Pound Coin to Exit Circulation after October 15th

After 15th October, the old round pound coin will no longer be legal tender.

The round £1 coin is being replaced for the first time in over thirty years because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters. Approximately one in thirty round £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit. 

The Royal Mint introduced a new, highly secure coin on 28 March 2017 to reduce the costs of counterfeits.

From 16th October:

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ACS: Forecourt Stores Investing to Transform Food Offer

New research from the Association of Convenience Stores has shown the essential contribution that the UK's petrol forecourts make to the economy, to working people, and to communities. 

The 2017 Forecourt Report highlights the continuing evolution of forecourts as both retailers and service providers, with stores often leading the rest of the convenience sector in key growth areas like food to go, coffee and technology in-store. 

Key findings from the report include: 

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Bank of England Launches New Banknote Checking Scheme

The Bank of England’s new Banknote Checking Scheme has been launched this week, aimed at cash-handling businesses and promoting banknote checking at point of sale through targeted training. Its aim is to reduce the number of counterfeit notes being accepted and to reduce losses to businesses.

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