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July 13 round-up: Brexit information campaign; Bailiffs to recover rates; Primark turns down bonus

Time 10 months ago

  • Here’s your news round-up for Monday, July 13

Information campaign launched ahead of Brexit transition

British holidaymakers will be given guidance on travel insurance and taking their pets abroad as part of a new public information campaign ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period.

‘The UK’s new start: let’s get going’ adverts will be launched by the government today on television, radio and online, with information also sent to people via text message.

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Adverts will carry a ‘Check, Change, Go’ strapline and direct people and businesses to a checker tool on the government’s website to show them what next steps they need to take.

Councils start drafting in bailiffs again to recover rates

Councils have started drafting in bailiffs again to secure unpaid business rates from companies.

Bailiffs had been put on hold from enforcing the collection of outstanding business rates from troubled businesses after the lockdown was mandated in March.

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However, they were given the go-ahead to restart enforcement action from the start of this month, in a move which could pile further pressure on struggling high street firms.

Is Cazoo about to buy Imperial Cars?

Rumours are circulating that online used car dealer Cazoo is looking to buy 17-showroom supermarket group Imperial Cars.

Sources have told Car Dealer Magazine that staff at Imperial Cars have been seen showing Cazoo founder Alex Chesterman around dealerships. There are also rumours in the business that Cazoo has bought more than a thousand vehicles from Imperial Cars. Read the full story here.

Primark says no to £30m job retention bonus

Primark said it will not take advantage of a £30m handout from the government, potentially putting pressure on other major firms not to take taxpayer money.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced last week that all businesses will be paid £1,000 for each employee they bring back from furlough.

Primark placed around 30,000 workers on the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme. But it said it has now brought them all back and would not ask for the payment. 

Retail footfall still lower in June despite turning point

Retail footfall for June more than halved against the same month last year as shopper demand remains low despite the ‘turning point’ of reopening thousands more stores.

New figures from retail experts Springboard revealed that footfall across UK shopping destinations fell by 56.6 per cent in June compared to the same month in 2019.

However, the organisation said this reflected green shoots of improvement in the sector as it increased from a 73.3 per cent year-on-year decline in May and the reopening of non-essential stores in England on June 15 was a ‘turning point’ for retailers.

Beauty salons to open as coronavirus restrictions relaxed

Beauty salons, nail bars and tattoo shops are to open for the first time in four months as part of the latest relaxation of lockdown restrictions in England.

Spas, massage studios and physical therapy businesses will also be able to welcome customers again on Monday.

But businesses will be required to meet coronavirus guidelines, and restrictions on treatments which involve work directly in front of the face will not be available. Face waxing, eyelash treatments, make-up application and facials will not be provided.

More lockdown restrictions removed in Scotland

Hospitals are to reopen to visitors, children can play contact sports outdoors and shopping centres will welcome back customers as Scotland starts its first full week of phase three of lockdown.

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed on Thursday that phase three of the four-step route map out of lockdown could go ahead.

On Friday, restrictions were removed on people meeting up indoors and on physical distancing inside for children under 12. From today, organised outdoor contact sports for children and young people can resume, non-essential shops within shopping centres can reopen, and non-aerosol routine care dental care will return.

Gove trusts people’s sense on face masks 

Senior minister Michael Gove has said he does not think face coverings should be compulsory in shops in England, saying he trusts people’s common sense.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr, Gove said wearing a mask in a shop was ‘basic good manners’.

On Friday, Boris Johnson said a stricter approach was needed so people wear masks in confined spaces. It is believed a policy will be introduced this week.

Business activity in Scotland’s private sector declines

Business activity in Scotland’s private sector continued to decline in June due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but at a lower rate.

The latest Royal Bank of Scotland Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) found coronavirus is ‘stifling demand and disrupting operations’.

Private sector firms in Scotland reported a further reduction in total new orders during the month, but they showed an improvement in positive sentiment, with anecdotal evidence linking this confidence to looser lockdown restrictions.

Cloud and rain on the way

It will be cloudy for many today with showery rain spreading south-eastwards across much of the country, says the BBC. 

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The south-east should remain largely dry until late in the day with sunny intervals. There will be outbreaks of rain overnight which will move across the south-east. 

Tomorrow will be cloudy for most with some scattered showers, although they’ll be some occasional brighter spells. During the afternoon, more persistent rain will move into Northern Ireland.

Car Dealer Live midday today: Lawgistics legal special

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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