Below are just some of the comments The Grocer has already received in support of our Push Back The Tax campaign. But it doesn't stop here.
Sir Stuart Rose has already thrown his weight behind the debate. "The government says it is listening to business - well, it should listen now," he says. "That's why we're happy to support The Grocer's campaign."
But your thoughts are just as important to us as those of the M&S boss. To add your voice to the growing debate, just log in (if you haven't already) and click 'Post a comment'.
With enough support, together we can Push Back The Tax.
"We need every help we can get from the Chancellor to rebuild the British economy and this must be done on every level. The Christmas trading period is crucial not only financially but also emotionally for our nation, whether they are shopkeepers, manufacturers or otherwise"
Stephen Waugh, Ardo UK managing director
"This is like a bombshell - a common-sense approach is called for. Please delay the VAT change to save us huge inconvenience"
J Sanghera, DS News owner
"Lower interest rates and deferred corporation tax payments have been a HUGE help so far. Don't spoil the good work already done!"
E O'Kane, partner, O'Kane Irish Foods
"It is clear that when policy decisions are take on a matter such as VAT, no consideration whatsoever is given to either seasonal timing or the administrative burden of changing retail prices. For instance, to this day, Marks & Spencer - a hugely prominent retailer - has not altered its retail price tags on goods in-store - the VAT reduction to 15% is adjusted to one's overall 'buy' at the counter. If M&S cannot cope, who can?!"
Francis Chaney, finance director, Lawrence Hunt & Co
"You have my full support on all three problems"
DB Campion, chairman, Wholebake
"Delaying the VAT until the end of January 2010 woulkd help me. My newsagents had to relocate in October 2008 and I was struggling to start with as I have less passing trade. I had no option but to relocate as my lease was not being renewed by the landlord."
Jacqueline Cooper, owner, City News, Newcastle
"The timing of these changes can only damage small businesses like mine"
Nigel Shaw, owner, Contin Village Stores
"You have to actually be in tune and carry out appropriate measures that make a positive impact. Cut the rhetoric and think the issues through!"
Graeme Wilson, Fingerprint Communications
"It is essential these issues are delayed to assist businesses to survive into 2010"
M Palmer, director, Harramelotti Pub Co
"Also try to find more work for the Post Office, having taken away the TV license etc"
R Flower, owner, Nantwich Post Office
"I believe these measures are vital because the cost and difficulty of increasing VAT for 1 January will be too disruptive over the Christmas holiday period and will add to staffing costs at a time when it is difficult enough to keep profits strong"
Diane Firth, head of trading, RSPB
"[The measures proposed by The Grocer] are vital because the VAT delay would have less of an impact on consumers in January. It will encourage consumers to spend more in January prior to the increase, which will benefit the whole economy"
Simon Hannah, director, JS Filshill
"Let's start to show some common sense here and help the businesses of the UK"
Kevin Mellor, partner, The Bridge
"Dear Chancellor, please use your brain in these hard times! Think of poor retailers like myself who are really struggling in these difficult times. Next year is election time and you will need us!"
K Patel, director, Wyvern Stores
"You think it is easy to run a business because you order people around - if you actually took a month out of your carefree life and had to run a business like we do, to earn a living, I'm sure you would regret all the choices you've made"
JK Pabial, general store owner
"We desperately need someone to take these issues seriously"
William Lees-Jones, MD, JW Lees & Co
"When the VAT was reduced to 15% we had a period of time for re-pricing. However, this time means it will have to be done overnight and at a crucial time of year, as most staff will not be prepared to work on 1 January. If they do it will cost the small businessman dearly"
Helen William, owner, CG Williamson General Merchants
"Don't kill off the golden goose! Remember Dennis Healey thumping the duty in the 70s? And the end of the day less revenue was collected. Be more objective and if the government didn't waste so much money we would not need to raise so much"
Neil Hardy, RSS territory manager
"Was anyone at all consulted over this date? Make the change a month later - at the earliest! Each duty increase punishes consumers, impacts margins, reduces competition and ultimately impacts on employment in the wine industry. Since we had two increases in the last 12 months, freeze duty in 2010"
Martin Skelton, MD, Gonzalez Byass UK
"We're backing The Grocer's 'Push Back the Tax' campaign and would urge the government to seriously reconsider its plans to bring VAT back up to 17.5% on 31 December. The festive and new year periods are the busiest times of year for most retailers and Netto is no exception. And with the recession ongoing, shoppers need every bit of help they can get, so a delay until the end of January or February would be warmly welcomed by all parties"
Charles Kay, UK MD for Netto
"Wells and Young's fully supports The Grocer's campaign to alert the government to the extortionate levels of tax facing the industry. I urge the government to seriously consider, at least, freezing the duty on alcohol. With rising costs, the beer industry, along with the wines and spirits industries, can no longer be burdened with the alarming levels of tax this government has imposed. If action is not taken, thousands of jobs will be at risk because businesses, from retailers to suppliers, will not be able to cope with any future increase. Enough is enough"
Nigel McNally, MD of Wells and Young's Brewing Company
"From the point of view of a convenience store operator, new year trading is very busy and it is also a very difficult time to persuade staff to work. In order to do this, it is necessary to pay significant premiums over normal rates for wages. This contrasts with the end of January when trade is slow and there are no staffing issues"
RC Perry, director, Harog
"We have a small shop in the north of the Isle of Lewis and are open six days a week. Our only holidays are at Christmas and at New Year. Changing all our prices due to the VAT change will mean working on our few holidays. We will not get staff to work at that time of the year and Sunday is not an option. January is a quiet month and a more sensible time for change"
Runa Morrison, Cross Stores
"As an EPOS manufacturer we feel that needing to employ full support staff overnight on New Year's Eve is unfair on both staff and company"
Andrew Storries, client support manager, Point Four
"To alter the VAT rate on New Year's Eve will be a nightmare. When it was altered on 1 December 2008, our EPOS company worked through the night to implement the change. There were issues on that day that took time to resolve. To have those issues on a New Year's Day with limited staffing and an EPOS company that will probably not be working apart from emergency staff is going to be a big problem. Please help independent retailers such as ourselves. It is tough enough out there already"
Mark Williams, general manager, Harry Tuffin Ltd
"Times are hard as it is for small family businesses such as ours. Having struggled for the last two years it would be beneficial for everyone for some government help. If thing don't improve we may need to make people redundant or close the business - costing the government money"
I Sorkin, manager, Express Convenience Store
"Delaying VAT to 31 January would be sensible and responsible government"
Richard Fisk, technical director, Marbran Crisps
" The 'real world' deserves to be consulted and considered - it's never too late to start"
Michael Sears, MD, Windfall Drinks
"The Christmas and New Year period is so important for our business that any increases in price will create a rush for sales on the 31 December then put people off buying in the New Year. Alcohol duty is already high and any increase at a time of recession and increased unemployment will lead to lower sales. Also changing the VAT rate on 31 December means I and a lot of other small business-owners and IT people will have to work through the night on 31 December to effect the required changes"
Chris Jones, Director, Jones of Chelmsford
"Our crippling taxes on alcohol and fuel are damaging our economy, costing jobs and businesses are closing rapidly. We are getting to a point of no recovery and will slide into being a fourth-world country. Civil unrest is coming"
M Williamson, off-trade territory manager
"We trade in a highly seasonal area and these changes force huge costs on to our business when we can ill-afford it"
John Forteith, Forteith Foodservice
"I was astonished at the complete lack of though that led to the choice of date for VAT to raise to 17.5%. The Christmas and New Year trading period is intense for food retailers and the disruption that will be caused by the existing proposal is unimaginable"
EJ Booth, chairman, Booths
"The most sensible time would be 31 January 2010. This would reduce cost, time and stress on all people involving in implementing changes to the VAT rate"
David Tattersham, sales manager, Pendleside Foods
"While we all like to receive a discount of any sort at any time, I reallly have to question the whole reasoning behind the VAT reduction, which not only cost businesses a lot of time and money to sort out, lost revenue to the government it can ill-aford to lose and now is going to cost a fortune again to put back - all to get a headline. In effect suppliers will now need to push for a 2.5% cost increase to persuade retailers to increase RSP - otherwise take a hit in margin. Who has won?"
Gavin Boyle, sales director, K28
"Any increases in VAT or duty will make staying afloat in these recession-hit times even more difficult for small, local newsagents like my own, especially during the vital Christmas period"
G Moore, owner, Moore News