“Markets & Traders fearful for the future”
The body that represents markets across the UK is calling for urgent and detailed action from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Association of British Markets (NABMA) is seeking support for the thousands of small businesses that rely on markets for their livelihood.
David Preston, Chief Executive of NABMA, said:
“There are around 1,150 regular traditional markets across the UK and over 40,000 traders, and many markets and traders are now fearful for the future.”
“These regular traditional markets support tens of thousands of small businesses. Markets will also play a significant role in the future of town and city centres, evidenced by the government funding earmarked for the high street. Food sales are a mainstay of markets and their continuance will create sustainability for market traders, and be the basis of market recovery planning for when the crisis is over. Lost traders may never recover their business, which then puts the future of some markets at risk.”
“Many markets are theoretically in a position to take advantage of the Chancellor’s recent announcement on abolishing business rates under £51,000. Unfortunately, local authority markets cannot do this because the ability to grant relief falls under Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, and under that part of the Act a local authority is unable to allow relief to itself.”
“Until this discretion is applied, we have an unfair situation as only markets operated by private operators are in a position to take advantage of the business rates concession recently announced. Giving local authority markets freedom from business rates liability will help them to face the challenges that currently exist and provide them with hope for a more confident future.”
“Now is the time, more than ever, to recognise the importance of markets, and market traders, and the important role they play in the economic, employment and community life of town and city centres. Our plea to the Chancellor is to outline the benefits available to markets and their traders; how to access them and to provide full business rates relief for local authority operated markets.”