Jul 8, 2020
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UK neglects retail in latest crisis cash handout

Jul 8, 2020

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishui Sunak has unveiled a raft of new measures designed to boost the economy, but retail hasn’t seen any specific measures that recognise its unique struggles. However, retailers could benefit from wider measures and also from a knock-on effect as other sectors make the most of handouts.

UK retail remains sluggish but there was no special help for the sector in the latest measures - Photo: Sandra Halliday

Retailers will be able to access cash from a wider scheme designed to encourage companies to bring back furloughed workers. The Chancellor has promised companies a £1,000 bonus for every furloughed employee they bring back and continue to employ up to January next year. 

And there will be a scheme to pay firms to create jobs for those aged between 16 and 24, as well as cash to encourage companies to take on trainees and apprentices, which could also help retailers.

Yet many of the measures were targeted at the hospitality sector and will see money made available to offer discounts for consumers to eat out on certain days of the week. Again, this might encourage consumers onto high streets and into shopping centres where pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants are located.

A cut in VAT from 20% to 5% until January that’s being put in place for food, accommodation and attractions also won't directly benefit retail but could have a knock-on effect. If consumers visit cafés or attractions close to retail stores, those stores might see greater footfall, while consumers having more money in their pockets generally could help under-pressure stores.

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