Following a year of unprecedented financial pain brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, retailers lay out what they would like to see in Wednesday’s Budget.
The retail industry has been one of the hardest hit by Covid-19. While retailers of essential goods such as grocers have benefited from sales growth, and certain categories such as homewares and leisure apparel have flown because of housebound customers, many have suffered during lockdowns and in uncertain trading conditions.
Government schemes such as the business rates holiday and furlough have been warmly welcomed and there is a growing sense of relief that the chancellor will continue those schemes well into the year to give businesses a chance to get back on their feet.
Sunak has been cautious when discussing plans to repair public finances. At the autumn spending review, he said emergency borrowing had only been possible “because we came into this crisis with strong public finances”.
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