Sirius News Bulletin - 21st June 2021

Sirius News Bulletin - 21st June 2021


This bulletin provides a summary of topical news, announcements and policy developments affecting business across the UK.


Plan to encourage recovery of tourism sector
A new rail pass and vouchers for popular tourist attractions have been announced by the Government as part of its Tourism Recovery Plan. The aim of the plan is to return domestic tourism to pre­ pandemic levels by 2022 and international tourism by 2023.
Read more about the plan at:


Consumers support refill points to cut plastic waste
Around 74% of consumers would like to see more refill options for items such as dried foods, laundry detergents and takeaway coffee. The survey by Friends of the Earth also found that 81% want the Government to make refillable products a central part of its strategy for tackling plastic pollution.
Read more about the survey at:


Extension of pavement licences to help high streets recover
The Government has announced that pavement licences will be extended until 30 September 2022. The licences allow hospitality venues, such as restaurants and bars, to serve customers outdoors.
Relaxation of licensing rules has also been extended to allow pubs to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises.
Read more about the extensions at: Article/2021 /06/10/What-are-the-amendments-to-Iicensing-regulati ans

Warning over shortage of HGV drivers
The shortage of HGV drivers in the UK has reached devastating proportions, according to the Road Haulage Association. The reopening of the retail and hospitality sectors has increased demand for HGV drivers and freight rates are rising to levels which are unsustainable.
Read more about the shortage at: actions-they-must-take-as-the-driver-shortage-hits-catastrophic-proportions-


Government increases licence fees for gambling operators
The Government has announced that it will increase the fees gambling operators pay to the Gambling Commission. The changes include a 55% increase in the fee bands for annual operating licences for online operators, which will take effect on 1 October 2021. Fee bands for other operators will increase by 15% from 6 April 2022.
Read more about the increase at:


CMA to review Apple and Google mobile ecosystems
The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a market study into Apple’s and Google’s mobile ecosystems due to concerns over market power which is harming users and other businesses. Mobile ecosystems include operating systems (iOS and Android), app stores (App Store and Play Store), and web browsers (Safari and Chrome).
Read more about the study at:

Social media
Small business owners can make money from TikTok
A new study from Bionic has found that the hashtag ‘#smallbusinessowner’ has over 875 million views on TikTok. Business owners can upload their own content onto the platform and potentially earn money by gaining likes and followers and raise brand awareness.
Read more about the study at:


New partnership to boost renewable exports
UK Export Finance has launched a new partnership with Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult to create global trading opportunities for UK suppliers and increase UK renewable exports.
Read more about the partnership at:


Commercial rents
Eviction protection for businesses most in need
The Government has announced that businesses which have had to remain closed during the pandemic and are unable to pay rent on their commercial property will continue to be protected from eviction. The protections will be in place until 25 March 2022.
Read more about the protections at:


Overseas trade
UK agrees trade deal with Australia
The UK has secured a trade deal with Australia eliminating tariffs on all UK goods and boosting jobs and businesses. This is the first major trade deal negotiated by the Government since the UK left the EU.
Read more about the trade deal at:


Contactless now accounts for more than a quarter of all UK payments
During 2020 the number of contactless payments increased by 12% to 9.6 billion. Overall, contactless payments accounted for 27% of all payments in the UK, compared with just 7% in 2016.
Read more about the payments at:


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