BiKBBI CEO Damian Walters calls upon Rishi Sunak to kick start local economies by ‘backing tradespeople and independent retailers in the home improvement industry.’
BiKBBI, which represents thousands of tradespeople and independent retailers, has called on the Chancellor to breathe new life into the Government’s levelling up agenda with a package of support targeted at tradespeople and small businesses that work in homes in every community in the country.
The BIKBBI has outlined a three-point plan for next week’s budget that will help create jobs in every part of the UK.
BIKBBI calls on the Chancellor to:
- Stimulate the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom (KBB) market by encouraging people to invest in their homes with a review on a VAT cut targeted at home improvement products and services;
- Revive the high street with rates relief for independent KBB showrooms that have had to to close their doors while larger trade suppliers remained open;
- Ensure that young people can take up the opportunities of a thriving home improvement industry by investing in skills and vocational training.
Damian said: “The Chancellor has a chance to kick start local economies in every part of the UK if he backs Britain’s army of hard-working kitchen fitters and the independent showrooms next week. The home improvement industry offers secure, skilled work for people from every walk of life while independent showrooms bring vitality to our high streets. Thanks to this, communities in every part of the UK stand to benefit from the Chancellor taking up our recommendations.”
Implementing the BIKBBI’s recommendations will help the small businesses and tradespeople that make up the KBB industry quickly recover from some of the unique challenges they have faced through the pandemic.
Installers in England and Wales invested time and money into Safe Operating Procedures that allowed them to continue serving customers through the most recent lockdown, but members north of the border were forced to down tools as the Scottish Government took a much more restrictive approach. As a result, many tradespeople have struggled to make ends meet due the additional expenditure needed to work safely or the loss of income from being unable to work at all.
The industry’s independent retailers were forced to close their doors while larger competitors carried on trading thanks to loopholes that allowed them to classify as trade suppliers. The loss of business could force many shops to close for good, doing further damage to high streets that are already struggling.
Damian added: “The Government came into office with the promise of ‘levelling up’ economies in every part of the UK and the pandemic has made it more important than ever that they make good on it. By backing KBB tradespeople and independent businesses next week the Chancellor will show that he is genuinely committed to helping every community to thrive.”