Butcher issues business warning to government

A butcher set to close her doors for the final time has warned that the industry will be forced to do the same unless the government does more to support small businesses. 

Kim Bateman of Bostocks Butchers in Nuneaton, Warwickshire is closing up on Saturday 16 May due to a lack of trade and crippling overheads.

The shop, which has been in existence since the 1800s, had been struggling for some time, with management streamlining wherever possible to keep it afloat.

Speaking to Meat Trades Journal, Bateman said the local council and government could have done more to help struggling businesses like hers. “For the past 12 months business had really started to slide and overheads were starting to outweigh the takings,” she said. “We could have done with more support on business rates. There was some rates relief introduced, but it was too little too late and when your rates bills are over £10,000 per year, it’s going to be tough for any business.”

She called on the government to reassess business rates or face more independent shop owners going the same way as her. “They need to put the rates up for out-of-town retail parks and reduce them for town centres. Otherwise, the town centres will die off as people aren’t going to them any more. People don’t go into a town for just one shop, so the high streets need all the support they can get.”

Bateman added that there are other great butchers who could be in the same position if nothing is done. “We did everything to keep this business going, we promoted it on social media, had promotions and engaged with our community, but at the end of the day the support wasn’t there and you can’t keep a business going for sentimental reasons. We’re not the only butchers that are struggling to compete with the supermarkets and retail parks and if something isn’t done, they’ll be forced to close as well.”

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