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The Federation of Independent retailers (NFRN) says it is pleased, in general, with today’s Budget announcements for business.

The NFRN has pushed for business rates relief for retailers, especially those who have been hit hardest during the Covid pandemic, so welcomed the decision to extend the 100% business rates holiday until the end of June and a two thirds discount for the rest of the financial year.

The cancellation of a planned increase on fuel duty will also come as a relief to retailers who provide home delivery services, something that has increased markedly during the pandemic.

Other positives include grants of up to £6,000 for shops to reopen; a new recovery loan scheme for businesses of any size; an extension of the furlough scheme and a freeze on alcohol duty.

NFRN National President Stuart Reddish said: “Overall, the Budget is probably as good as we could have hoped for, particularly the assistance with business rates. Although this is not as supportive as in Scotland, where it is 100 per cent for the whole year, it is still welcome and we look forward to a full review of business rates in the autumn.

“The grant scheme to help retailers who have been forced to close to get back on their feet is also good news, as is the decision not to increase duty on fuel.”

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