Press Releases

Local Shops Set Out Business Rates Reform Plans

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has set out its recommendations to Government on business rate reform to make the system fairer and help small businesses.

In its submission, ACS highlights the inherent issues in the rates system that penalise retailers trying to expand and invest in their business.

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Local Shops Set Out Budget Priorities to Chancellor

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has called on the chancellor to support the growth of convenience stores by taking action on employment, rates reform and duty fraud ahead of the summer 2015 Budget.

In its submission to government ahead of the first Budget after the 2015 General Election, ACS has called for government to ensure that the Low Pay Commission remains an independent body and is not influenced by central government targets.

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New Report Claims 56 Billion Cigarettes Consumed Across EU

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to a report highlighting the extent of illegal tobacco consumption across Europe, calling for immediate action to tackle the illicit trade in the UK.

The report, released today by KPMG, claims that over 56 billion illegal cigarettes were consumed in 2014 across the EU, representing 10% of total consumption. Over the last year, more than 8 in 10 illegal cigarettes consumed originated from outside the EU.

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ACS Demonstrates Value of Local Shops to New MPs

ACS is this week sending constituency cards to all new MPs, detailing key information about the number of local shops in their area and the jobs that they create.

The 2015 General Election resulted in over 100 new MPs entering the Houses of Parliament, many of whom have been taking part in store visits with ACS members in the pre-election campaigning period.

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Tobacco Smuggling Strategy Needs More Ambitious Targets

HMRC and The UK Border Force have released a new tobacco smuggling strategy this week; “Tackling illicit tobacco: From leaf to light”.  The new strategy highlights that revenue loss from illegal tobacco stands at £2.1 billion however the Government states its medium term ambition is to “hold the cigarettes illicit market share at or below 10%”.

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ACS Welcomes Age Restrictions on Nicotine Inhaling Products

The House of Lords have approved the draft Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015. This will mean that from the 1st October 2015, it will be illegal to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18 in England and Wales.

The regulations will:

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ACS Calls for Positive Measures to Support the High Street

ACS has responded to the Royal Society for Public Health’s report on the high street, calling for positive measures to support innovation on the high street instead of regulatory interventions.

The report, “Health on the High Street” released today, focuses much of its attention on restricting the activity of fast food outlets, betting shops and payday lenders, but also calls for the following interventions which would have an impact on convenience stores:

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ACS Warns of Impact of Above Inflation Minimum Wage Increase

ACS has warned that the above inflation 3% increase in the adult National Minimum Wage to £6.70 will have a negative impact on staffing and investment levels in the convenience sector.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We are disappointed with the increase in the National Minimum Wage above inflation, above average earnings growth, and above public sector pay award levels. Our research has clearly shown that retailers have little choice but to reduce staff hours and delay further business investment when the minimum wage is increased.

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ACS Calls for High Street Support In Rates Review

ACS has responded to the Government’s launch of a fundamental review of business rates, calling for greater support for small businesses and high streets.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "We welcome this overdue review, and we are pleased that it will take a look at radical options for reforming the outdated business rates system. The review must deliver help for high streets, be simpler than the current system, and offer incentives for investment rather than penalising businesses which improve their premises."

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