Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed a series of concrete measures to help riot-hit retailers, including business rates holidays.
The Government will allow local authorities to give business rates relief to those retailers affected by the mayhem this week.
Cameron also told Parliament that businesses badly damaged can defer their tax payments.
Cameron unveiled too a £20m high street support scheme to “help affected businesses get back up and running quickly”. London Mayor Boris Johnson has also set up a fund, of £50m, to help the capital’s high streets get back on their feet.
He added that regulations that slow the installation of protective shutters will be slashed.
Cameron said the Government will meet the cost of any legitimate compensation claims, and that businesses will now have 42 days to claim instead of the normal 14.
Cameron said the Association of British Insurers expects the insurance industry to have to pay out more than £200m.
This morning the BRC revealed it had written to Cameron asking for a temporary suspension of business rates for riot-hit retailers and other measures to support traders disrupted by this week’s disorder.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “Our biggest fear is that otherwise successful retailers are pushed into insolvency by the events of this week. Suspending business rates on wrecked shops, flexibility on VAT collection and reassurance that shortfalls in insurance cover will be made up will all help substantially minimise that risk.”
Jane Eillison, Conservative MP for Battersea and co-chair of the All Party Retail Group, told Retail Week yesterday that she would ask Cameron what he can do for affected retailers, including consideration business rate relief. Ellison is a former John Lewis Partnership executive.
Robertson added: “The Prime Minister has listened to our pleas and satisfied the majority of them. The mindless damage done to shops over the past few days is in effect mindless damage to our communities. The Government has shown great willingness to work with retailers to put our streets back together.