C-stores face a larger fee for broadcasting through a single radio or television under new proposals from PRS for Music.

The Association of Convenience Stores has raised concerns that the changes will impact the smallest shops the hardest. Under the proposals, any business that previously had a reduced rate for having a small audible area will incur a £51.50 increase to their rates each year.

In its submission to the PRS for Music consultation, ACS pointed out that the convenience sector will see its tariffs increase while some of the largest stores will see a reduction in their tariffs.

The cost to the convenience sector of the new tariffs has been estimated at £1.26m, with stores under 100sq m (approximately 1,000sq ft) bearing the majority of the cost increases.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The proposed changes from PRS for Music will disproportionately affect smaller retailers. We do not believe that removing the reduced rate for the smallest retailers is appropriate, especially at a time when all convenience stores are experiencing cost increases in many other areas of their businesses.

“PRS’ planned tariffs will cut costs for many larger stores whilst squeezing more from small stores, and this is something that needs to be urgently addressed.”

It has called on PRS for Music to consider the following measures to minimise the impact on small retailers:

• Reinstate the reduced rate for stores with a small audible area

• Maintain the five bands between 0-500sq m instead of moving to three larger bands

• Graduate the cost increases between bands more fairly, as currently stores between 200-500sq m are set to see a fee increase of almost double that of stores between 500 – 1250sq m

PRS for Music is a society of songwriters, composers and music publishers.