Fashion wholesalers call on UK to extend business rates relief

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Daniel Morris, co-founder of Brick Lane-based fashion Agency Morris Fyfe, has launched an online petition calling on the government to extend its Covid-19 support for retail businesses to include wholesale agents and distributors.

Arguing that fashion showrooms, wholesale agents and distributors have been equally affected by the shutdown, the campaign aims to reach a target number of 10,000 signatures.

The petition is backed by London-based Double H Agency, Love Brands, Jonny Drama, Just A Group, FOF Fashion Marketing and Brand Machine Group, as well as Manchester-based agency Red Alert.

According to Morris Fyfe, sales agents and distributors, who are typically self-employed or directors drawing dividends, do not qualify for the sort of help from central government or local government that is available to the many retailers they supply.
Daniel Morris explained: “In short, we fully support the government business rates 12-month holiday for retailers and only ask to be treated the same, as we are part of the same supply chain and therefore paying the price in terms of reduced income from retailer cancellations, discounts and delays. 
“We believe that the government doesn’t really understand and recognise the role we play in getting goods to market and how we are recompensed – at least that is the only justification we can think of, for not being included in the Covid-19 government support. My petition is saying that we are directly related to retail and should be considered in the same bracket.” 
He added that fashion agencies with retail showrooms are arguably worse off than retailers, as they don’t sell through websites. 
The company is asking supporters to share details of the campaign on social media using the hashtags #excludeduk, #forgottenltd and #smallbusiness.

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