the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects



Workforce development 


Business &

Property &
Development sites




Consultation opportunities

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 28 May 2011
Stephen Robetson, Director General, BRC

Support needed for small shops

In supporting the aims of Independents’ Week (29 May – 4 June 2011), British Retail Consortium Director General Stephen Robertson said, “Small and independent retailers are crucial to communities and the success of UK retailing overall but the difficulties many are facing must be recognised and addressed.”

The week, aimed at helping independent retailers promote themselves, comes a fortnight after

the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced a review of the high street to be headed by reality television presenter Mary Portas.

The concerns which it must tackle and the BRC’s recommendations are highlighted in the BRC’s vision for the future 21st Century High Streets. They include:

Costs of doing business – including business rates, rents and wages

  • Make future Business Rates increases more predictable and affordable by basing them on the Consumer Price Index (as used for pensions) or an annual-average of the Retail Price Index. There should be no return to local setting of Business Rates.
  • All commercial landlords should copy the best by offering flexibility on rents and rental terms to reflect changing circumstances.
  • There should be a more predictable relationship between National Minimum Wage (NMW) and average earnings movements - while ensuring NMW does not increase faster than average earnings.

Ease and costs of access – both for customers and deliveries

  • Parking and transport policy should be directed at providing a service to customers and retailers, not exploited as a local authority fund raiser.
  • Investment – some town centres have suffered, often for many years, from a failure to invest in making them safe and attractive places that customers want to go to.

The BRC says the future of town centres cannot be left to chance. There should be a careful programme of economic health monitoring, especially for town centres approaching ‘tipping points’. They have to be actively managed and invested in by local authorities with their retailers and other businesses.

Real priority must be given to deterring all forms of retail crime and anti-social behaviour. To prevent a downward spiral, damaged property must be restored quickly.

British Retail Consortium Director General Stephen Robertson also said, “Independents make a vital contribution to local communities and economies – providing jobs and essential services. They’re a crucial part of our national retail mix but in some cases they, and the high-streets they tend to occupy, are in trouble.

“Rightly recognising their future cannot be left to chance, the Government has commissioned a review. It should not be about gimmickry but the key issues we’ve already highlighted. Costs, access, investment and crime.

“Independents are essential to an attractive retail mix but so are the big names. The evidence is clear. Major retailers make it less likely local residents will leave the area to shop elsewhere. They support town centres by acting as magnets for customers and smaller shops.

“What’s needed is positive action from local and Central Government that supports retailers of all types and sizes.”

Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants
British Retail Consortium

Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


15 December 2017
GTR consultation ends 20th Dec 2017
13 December 2017
Ethical Food StartUp Programme - Idea Generation Workshop 12 December 2017
Utilise Plus launch programme of energy efficiency grants and business support for SMEs 11 December 2017
City Centre Vacancy Rates Drop Slightly From Sept 5 December 2017
Innovate UK Announces Sector Competitions in Manufacturing and Infrastructure Systems 5 December 2017
GDPR, steps to early compliance 1 December 2017
The 29th Sussex Business Awards 2017 Winners Announced 1 December 2017
Old tech gear? Give IT a new lease of life 29 November 2017
Driving for Better Business Campaign launches 29 November 2017
ARKA Funerals sponsor Burning the Clocks 2017 with 'In Memory' lanterns 27 November 2017
Govia Thameslink launches third consultation phase on once-in-a-generation timetable restructure 23 November 2017
Coast to Capital Launches Brighton Mainline Alliance 22 November 2017
Calling all UK companies that have transport, parking and commuting issues to address 15 November 2017
Start-up Challenge Business Competition Offering £10,000 Investment to Young Entrepreneurs 15 November 2017
IUK Announces £10 Million Innovation Loans Infrastructure Systems Funding Competition for UK SMEs 15 November 2017
Sussex Food and Drink Grand Finalists Celebrate Success 10 November 2017
Meaning conference confirms speaker line-up: breeding a new army of business activists 10 November 2017
Positive body image documentary screening at Hove school 8 November 2017
Material Practices: Painting and Printmaking at the University of Brighton - Private View 8 November 2017
Economic Partnership kick starts city strategy consultation 8 November 2017
GTR respond to positive ASLEF referendum result 7 November 2017
350th employer signed up to the Brighton & Hove Campaign 7 November 2017
Rampion announces £4 million community fund 6 November 2017
The First Gamification Conference comes to Brighton 3 November 2017
Shoreham Port Welcomes New Commercial and Operations Director 2 November 2017
Burning the Clocks launches Crowdfunder for 2017 2 November 2017
The Gatwick Diamond Business Awards are now open for Entries 31 October 2017
Brighton Based Paxton Open New Centre for Technology & Innovation 27 October 2017
Adventures in risk taking for high growth businesses 27 October 2017
Can your business benefit from offering a 'world of work' experience? 27 October 2017
The Small Business Saturday Bus Tour launches across the UK for its fifth year 24 October 2017
Business Networking & Case Study Visit with the Sustainable Business Partnership 24 October 2017
Could you use an Energy Saving Workshop? 17 October 2017
Peter Blake raffle raises £2,290 for Middle Street School 17 October 2017
AMEX named major sponsor of city's bike share scheme 16 October 2017
Ropetackle Business Friends scheme 4 October 2017
BTN BikeShare: a successful first month 3 October 2017
PLATF9RM open at Hove Town Hall 28 September 2017
Green Light for Preston Barracks and Moulsecoomb Campus Regeneration