The Charity Retail Association (CRA) represents charity shops across the UK and aims to influence and monitor legislation, promote the benefits of charity retailing and work with partners to support its members.
In 2012 Professor Brian Morgan published the Business Rates Wales Review proposing that Welsh Government consult on limiting rate relief for charity shops to 50 per cent, introducing tighter eligibility criteria for claiming rate relief and limiting the number of premises eligible for rate relief in town centres.
CRA commissioned EC to develop and implement a campaign within Wales with the objectives to:
- Activate Assembly Members in support of the campaign to ensure that if the Welsh Government introduced a Bill, it would not have the support required to be passed.
- Run a high profile media campaign to put pressure on Ministers and Assembly Members.
- Develop and communicate a clear set of compelling alternative policies.
- Prevent a Bill being introduced in the Welsh Assembly to restrict charitable business rate relief.
Equinox implemented a 12 month strategy that targeted the public and key politicians through a high profile media relations campaign, a timed programme of one-to-one briefing sessions, cross party events and the development of compelling alternative policies backed by partner organisations and the charity sector.
In Autumn 2013 it was announced that the no Bill would be introduced to take the proposals forward.
Our strategy demonstrated to Welsh Government that the CRA was campaigning constructively and able to compromise on key issues, making it acceptable for Ministers to drop the more damaging proposals on business rate relief.
Our evidence-based approach, based on surveying members, provided statistics and case studies also demonstrated impact of the proposals on a local level.
The campaign also secured national print, online and broadcast coverage with the likes of BBC and ITV to apply political pressure on Assembly Members and Ministers via the media.