Business groups call for rejection of New Year trading ban

empty high street

Thirteen leading business representative groups and industry bodies have jointly written to Scottish ministers urging them to reject a legislative ban on shops trading on New Year’s Day.

The joint letter, which was submitted earlier this week to the Scottish Government’s Minister for Public Finance, Planning & Community Wealth Tom Arthur, was signed by: CBI Scotland, Scottish Property Federation, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Revo Scotland, Company Chemists’ Association, Scottish Retail Consortium, Scottish Newspaper Society, Scotland’s Towns Partnership, Music Industries Association, Scottish Wholesale Association, Essential Edinburgh, and Aberdeen Inspired.

The letter said: “Retail has been at the epicentre of the economic storm wrought by Covid. Much of the sector has been shuttered for at least 220 days over the past seventeen months or unable to trade at capacity due to restrictions. As restrictions ease it should be down to stores to determine and assess whether there is sufficient customer demand and availability of staff to open on New Year’s Day.

“Curtailing this through legislation would diminish consumer choice and add to the economic pressures facing retailers, their supply chain, and our town and city centre economies. A strong, varied and open retail offering in turn benefits the wider tourism and hospitality sector as well as the recovery.”

The call comes on the last day of the Scottish Government’s consultation on prohibiting stores from trading on New Year’s Day.