Retailers have received a measure of good news from the Performing Rights Society (PRS) for Music, which has reduced

the cost of a music licence for those businesses with less than five staff.

The new rate is now £44 a year (plus VAT), a reduction of close to 50% on the previous rate of £84.

Research by the PRS for Music has shown that music enhances a working environment and creates more productive staff. It said this was something it wanted to encourage in the current economic climate.

"We realise that it is an exceptionally difficult trading time at present," said PRS public performance sales director Keith Gilbert. "This reduction will make it possible for small workplaces to use all the music they need while ensuring that content creators are fairly compensated."

Contact the PRS for Music on 0800 068 4828 to apply for the new rate.