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Some wins, and some losses, was how the Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) viewed the Chancellor’s announcements in his Autumn Statement.

While extending the 75 per cent business rate relief and employers’ National Insurance relief for another year and a freeze on the small business multiplier are positives, the Fed is disappointed by the lack of help with energy costs and tackling retail crime.

National President Muntazir Dipoti said: “We are pleased that the Chancellor has taken on board our serious concerns about business rates, but our members are still struggling with extortionate energy bills.

“Our costs are rising all the time, and when you factor in the increase in the minimum wage to £11.44 an hour, some small shops will inevitably have to consider whether their businesses are viable and sustainable.

“It was also disappointing that there was no mention of any increase in public spending, especially on policing, at a time when shoplifting and attacks on shop staff have reached epidemic proportions.”

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