NAJ Lobbies to Support Local Jewellery Industry

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In recent weeks, the NAJ’s President and Chair have written to the Birmingham Mayor and Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood, calling for ‘urgent action’ to support NAJ members in the jewellery quarter.

Writing first to Shabana Mahmood, local MP for the Birmingham Ladywood, NAJ President David Doyle and Chair Gary Wroe call for support to reverse the government’s decision to remove the VAT Retail Export scheme from the 1st of January 2021.

An extract from the letter states,

The VAT Retail Export scheme represents a point of competitive advantage for UK Jewellers to attract Jewellery buyers for their luxury goods. Unless the decision to remove the scheme is reversed, we foresee further implications across the wider sector with not just retail but also manufacturing Jewellery businesses in danger.

The removal of this scheme will no doubt impact job security at a delicate moment for all, with businesses already having to make difficult decisions. The Jewellery Quarter, along with London’s Hatton Garden are the epicenters of British jewellery, not just commercially, but also culturally with heritage dating back to the 1800s, another competitive advantage that will be impacted with the scheme removed.

View Letter to Shabana Mahmood MP

 

More recently, on Saturday 12th December with two weeks until Christmas to go, the quarter was brought to a stand still due to an Indian farmers’ car rally. Again, David Doyle and Gary Wroe issued a request for ‘urgent action’ but this time to Birmingham Mayor Mr Andy Street, for the support that can and will make a difference to NAJ members in the Quarter.

An extract from the letter states,

The weekend a fortnight before Christmas represents for much of the retail businesses in the Quarter, a critical trading day, at the end of a year that has not been kind to traditional retailers. November and December are the crucial months for most of our members, and following November’s lockdown, jewellers are doing everything they can to try and make up significantly lost ground.

We must stress that the request for action today is not against the protest march, quite the opposite in fact. We strongly believe in free speech and are a great supporter of human rights.

However, while we recognise the Indian consulate has residency on Augusta Street, we implore you to:

  • Liaise to find an alternative location for future marches
  • Ensure plenty of notice to local businesses for any future marches
  • Highlight the importance of COVID secure guidelines for such activities
  • Influence the days and dates such marches are held where support can be made available

The above actions will go some way to help protect our members in the quarter, as well as enable future marches to take place safely.

View letter to Andy Street

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