Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) today (21) reiterated its calls on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to give convenience store retailers the incentives necessary to invest in the safety, security and long term future of their businesses.
In its submission to the Autumn Statement, taking place on Wednesday (22), ACS has called on the Chancellor to support retailers with stability on business rates, pragmatism on future wage increases, and a commitment to tackling crime in communities across the UK.
In the submission, ACS is calling on to freeze the business rates multiplier to help businesses deal with the impact of inflation, extend the 75 per cent retail and hospitality relief for another year and introduce an mechanism to pause uplifts in National Living Wage if rates have a detrimental impact on employment opportunities and investment.
The retailers’ body has also urged Chancellor to deliver more funding to boost enforcement against the illicit tobacco and vaping market and introduce tax incentives to help businesses invest in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour
ACS chief executive James Lowman said, “Convenience store retailers have faced incredible challenges over the last year, dealing with enormous energy bills, inflationary pressures in all areas of their businesses, and the all too regular threat of theft and other serious crime.
“We are calling on the Chancellor to give this essential sector a much-needed boost, to help them invest more on crime prevention and detection measures, to invest in energy efficient refrigeration and lighting to reduce their costs in the long term, and to introduce more EV charging options for customers.
“By supporting the convenience sector, the Chancellor will make it clear that this Government supports local jobs, local services and local investment.”
Figures from the 2023 Local Shop Report show that over the last 12 months, convenience stores invested over £646m in their businesses in areas like refrigeration, technology, CCTV, wider service provision and a more diverse range of products.