ACS: Small Business Rate Relief Must Continue in 2016

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to figures on business rate reliefs released today by the Department for Communities and Local Government, calling for an extension of the business rate discount for small businesses.

The figures show that local authorities granted £1,061 million in relief under the Small Business Rate Relief scheme in 2014-15, up 7.7% on the previous year. Additionally, the amount of relief granted to empty premises fell 4.2% to £947m.

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Ben Bradshaw MP Outlines Support for Local Retailer on Sunday Trading

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw has met with independent retailer Clive Sheppard at his SPAR store on Magdalen Road to talk about the issues affecting his business and the proposed changes to Sunday trading regulations.

The community focussed store is located in a vibrant shopping district a short distance away from the City Centre. Trade declined significantly some three years ago when a supermarket opened nearby, but has now risen back to previous levels following an extensive investment in refitting the store and introducing new categories.

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Sunday Trading Devolution Would Cost Jobs

The Association of Convenience Stores has outlined the damage that devolution of Sunday trading laws will have on jobs and the economy.

In evidence submitted to Government last month, ACS cites research conducted by Oxford Economics, who have calculated that if implemented by councils across England and Wales, extended Sunday trading hours would cost small shops in excess of £870m whilst generating no extra revenue for the economy overall, leading to a net loss of 3,270 jobs across the retail industry.

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Conservative MPs Outline Support for Existing Sunday Trading Laws

ACS has welcomed a letter from campaign group Keep Sunday Special and Conservative MPs, outlining their support for the existing Sunday trading regulations.

The letter, published in the Telegraph today (11 November), details a list of 20 MPs who have called on the Government to drop the controversial plans to devolve Sunday trading powers to local authorities.

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Book Your Free Place Now at ACS Responsible Retailing Forum

Reserve your free place now at this November’s ACS Responsible Retailing Forum, providing you with the tools and knowledge to ensure your convenience store is fully compliant with upcoming regulations.

The Forum, taking place in Westminster, London, will guarantee you are up-to-date with all of the fast-changing retail legislation and enable you to update your store’s policies and procedures.

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ACS Warns Low Pay Commission of Living Wage Impact on Retailers

ACS has warned the Low Pay Commission that the upcoming introduction of the Living Wage will force retailers to scale back their business plans.

In an oral evidence session, ACS Head of Policy and Public Affairs Edward Woodall outlined the issues that retailers will face when having to fund a £7.20 wage rate for over 25s in their business.

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ACS Welcomes Business Rate Appeals Proposals; Urges Caution on Fees

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed proposals from the Department of Communities and Local Government which aim to make the appeals system for business rates more efficient.

The consultation was launched this week by High Streets Minister Marcus Jones, who claims that the plans will ensure businesses can be confident that their valuations are fair whilst attempting to curb the number of speculative appeals going through the system.

Under the proposed reforms, businesses would go through a 3-stage process:

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