Sirius News Bulletin - 12th July 2021
This bulletin provides a summary of topical news, announcements and policy developments affecting business across the UK.
Government slammed for extending HGV drivers’ hours
The government has extended the legal limit to the number of hours heavy goods vehicles (HGV) drivers can work. A fall in migrant labour following Brexit and a lack of driver testing due to the pandemic has led to a driver shortage which is beginning to impact supermarket shelves. However, the measures have been widely criticised as inadequate to tackle the crisis, and criticised for potentially compromising driver safety.
Read more about the extension at: https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2021/07/08/government-slammed-for-extending-hgv-drivers-hours-as-crisis-hits-supermarket-shelves/
Small business success on Amazon
There are more than 65,000 small and medium-sized businesses selling professionally on Amazon in the UK, an increase of more than 20% year-on-year. Small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon have created 175,000 jobs across the UK and recorded over £3.5 billion in export sales in 2020.
Read more about the increase at: https://blog.aboutamazon.co.uk/supporting-small-businesses/supporting-smes-in-the-uk-2021-amazon-sme-impact-report
A third of retail promises ‘zombie shops’
One in three UK retail premises are now ‘zombie shops’ that are either vacant, not producing income, or occupied on only a short-term basis. This is according to new research by commercial property specialist Colliers.
Read more about the issue at: https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2021/07/02/1-in-3-uk-retail-premises-are-now-zombie-shops-research-reveals/#:~:text=The Globe - Charged-,One in three UK retail premises,‘zombie shops’, research reveals&text=As many as one in,by commercial property specialist Colliers.
No-shows to cost UK restaurants over £6m
UK restaurants could lose out on up to £6.2 million if the rising no-show trend continues. According to research by TheFork, 19% of people have admitted to failing to arrive for a reservation. Spread-booking is also a concern for restaurant owners as 30% of people who failed to show up claim to have made more than one reservation for the same time slot.
Read more about the concerns at: https://www.cateringtoday.co.uk/news/apps-technology/no-shows-to-cost-uk-restaurants-up-to-6-2m/
Construction output growth hits 24-year high
In June 2021, overall construction activity grew at the fastest pace since 1997, supported by another sharp rise new orders. Suppliers’ delivery times also increased, surpassing the previous record in April 2020. Severe shortages of construction products and materials resulted in a record rise in purchasing prices in June.
Read more about construction output at: https://www.markiteconomics.com/public/home/pressrelease/0a1472727e9a4cd9ab5452a9350e857f
New car market recovery affected by supply issues
In June 2021, new car registrations grew 28% year-on-year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. However, compared with the previous decade average, monthly registrations were down by 16.4%, partly due to the ongoing global semiconductor shortage.
Read more about the shortage at: https://www.smmt.co.uk/2021/07/new-car-market-recovery-squeezed-by-supply-issues/
UK needs 127,000 more charging points by 2025
The UK only has 15% of the electric vehicle charging points it needs to meet net zero targets. The Committee on Climate Charge has reported that there needs to be around 150,000 public charging points operating by 2025 but the research has indicated that there are currently only 22,790 in operation.
Read more about the requirements at: https://www.transport-network.co.uk/UK-must-add-127000-charge-points-by-2025/17343
Sports and leisure
UK consumers hesitant to return to sport and entertainment activities
According to research by 4C Associates, over 60% of UK consumers said they plan to attend more social gatherings this summer. Over half of consumers are concerned about crowd management and venues compromising on social distancing in order to allow people to attend events.
Read more about the research at: https://www.consultancy.uk/news/28413/uk-consumers-hesitant-to-return-to-sport-and-leisure-activities
Increase in number of farmers diversifying
The number of farmers operating non-farming enterprises on their land has risen from 31% to 37% in 2021. Renewable energy was the most popular non-farming enterprise, followed by non-holiday property letting. Holiday accommodation was in third place, followed by livery / equestrian, farm shops and caravan / camping sites.
Read more about the increase at: https://www.farminguk.com/news/farmers-rush-to-diversify-to-survive-following-brexit-report-says_58524.html
Funding for yearly vet visits
The Government has confirmed that eligible farms will receive funding for yearly vet visits as part of the UK’s new agriculture policy. The funding will be provided via Annual Health and Welfare review.
Read more about the funding at: https://www.farminguk.com/news/funding-for-yearly-vet-visits-under-new-uk-agriculture-policy_58520.html
New regulator at heart of building safely overhaul
Under the Building Safety Bill a new regulator will be created to ensure homeowners and residents have the power to hold builders and developers to account. The Building Safety Regulator will also be responsible for ensuring that any building safety risks in new and existing high-rise residential buildings are effectively managed and resolved.
Read more about the regulator at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-regulator-at-heart-of-building-safety-overhaul
Increase in demand for offices
Demand for office space increased by 18% in the first five months of 2021, following a sharp decline during the pandemic. This is according to research by Quotezone.co.uk, which also found that demand is still below pre-pandemic levels, with a year-on-year fall of 49% in 2020.
Read more about the increase at: https://www.retailtimes.co.uk/the-workplace-fights-back-18-increase-in-demand-for-offices-price-comparison-firm-finds/#:~:text=Legal Time-,The workplace fights back: 18% increase in demand for,offices, price comparison firm finds&text=The research, which is based,the same period last year.
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