The British Retail Consortium and the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) have welcomed the government’s restatement of its pledge to lighten the burden of red tape on retailers.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Competitiveness Barry Gardiner told MPs and retailers he did not want to stifle store owners with unnecessary regulation. He said: “We want to let law-abiding retailers get on with business with the advice and information they need. We will ensure we scrutinise the regulation process and any new regulations.”

ACS public affairs manager James Lowman said: “Everyone talks about reducing the burden but making it happen is difficult. Barry Gardiner understands the views of retailers, which is a great start.”

The Forum of Private Business (FSB) has also urged small firms to take part in an online survey ( to tell Gordon Brown which regulations they most want to see scrapped or changed.

FSB chief executive Nick Goulding said the findings would be presented to the Better Regulation Team at the Department of Trade and Industry.