Derby BIDS Support Calls For Greater Business Support
Derby’s Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have joined a national campaign calling for greater measures to support high street businesses.
The national #RaiseTheBar campaign, which has been backed by industry representation bodies and BIDs across the UK, has widened its appeal to the Government to save the high street with further assistance.
The Bounce Back Better initiative calls for an extended business rates holiday for 2021 and 2022 for all businesses in retail hospitality and leisure.
Organisers also want grants of up to £15,000 for these businesses who are operating in tiers two and three under further pandemic measures to stave of the threat of closures and high unemployment.
Further measures in the manifesto published this week include pausing National Insurance employer contributions for furloughed employees and an extension of the VAT reduction scheme currently in operation across the hospitality sector.
Both the Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter BIDs represent and support a wide cross section of businesses in the city centre. The BIDs will be writing a letter to local MPs urging them to back the campaign and encouraging individual businesses to also share the campaign.
Martin Langsdale MBE , chair of the Cathedral Quarter BID said: “Our high streets lay perilously close to the cliff edge with no parachute to save them from the brink.
“As part of the ongoing #Raise The Bar campaign, which originally called for the threshold to be raised on the rateable value qualifying hospitality, leisure and retail for financial support , we are collectively calling on the Government to step in to save these vital sectors from economic ruin before it is too late.”
Helen Wathall MBE, chair of St Peters Quarter BID, continued: “The Government has provided assurances that it will do whatever it takes to support British businesses and help them to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.
“With Derby in the highest level of restrictions following the second national lockdown, we now need the government to provide further support in sector specific measures to stave off mass closure and job losses. Now, more than ever, we need the Chancellor to stand by his promise to do whatever it takes.”
Local business owner Craig Bunting, co-founder of BEAR coffee company in Iron Gate welcomed the BIDs’ involvement in the national campaign.
He said: "The cost to our industry is already catastrophic and recent decisions that target hospitality in particular are unfounded and unwarranted.
“Without the support suggested, and more, many great brands, including newcomers like ourselves will have no chance to recover.
“We have invested hugely in making our spaces COVID secure and as a result, hospitality operates one of the safest sectors in the UK.
“We are not asking for a handout, we want to trade, but when that ability is taken away, more must be done."
FOUR ESSENTIAL ASKS IN THE ‘BOUNCE BACK BETTER’ MANIFESTO
1.ONE-OFF GRANT FOR RETAIL, LEISURE & HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES
Local Authorities lack the administrative and payments infrastructure required to facilitate monthly financial support model proposed by government for eligible businesses in Tier 2 and Tier 3 – many businesses are receiving funds too late, or worse not at all.
We ask Government to provide a one-off ‘Bounce Back’ grant of up to £15,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in Tier 2 and Tier 3 across England and Wales with a rateable value of up to and including £150,000. This would support 137,000 businesses vital funds delivered in a manner Local Authorities are equipped to distribute at a total maximum cost of £2.05bn.
2. PAUSE NATIONAL INSURANCE EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS FOR FURLOUGHED EMPLOYEES
For the furlough scheme investment to date of £47m to be fully effective, business support must reflect short and long term challenges.
While employees receive 80% of their salary through the extension of the furlough scheme, businesses are still paying out for National Insurance, placing greater strain on survival. At an average wage of £9.50 per hour, working 7.5 hours per day, 5 days a week, the National Insurance cost to a business in hospitality with 10 staff is £491.60 per week. Every month,
on top of all the other costs, businesses will be paying out £1,966.50 – nearly two thirds of the upper limit of funding provided by the Government currently.
We ask Government to remove the burden of National Insurance from employers whose staff are on furlough, saving the average business £2,000 per month until 31st March 2021.
3. EXTENSION OF 100% BUSINESS RATES HOLIDAY FOR 2021/22
The ‘payment holiday’ for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value less than £51,000 earlier this year was an extraordinary and critical measure saving each business up to £25,000, a total tax cut worth over £1bn.
We ask Government to extend the 100% business rates holiday into 2021/2022 for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector. Every pound saved is a pound to help businesses stay trading and retain staff.
4. EXTENSION OF VAT REDUCTION SCHEME
The cut in VAT from 20% to 5% is a major boost for the hospitality sector enabling businesses to pass on a £4.1 billion saving onto consumers. With a vaccine becoming a reality in the coming months, our Bed and Breakfasts, hotels and restaurants could be a vital catalyst to local economic recovery.
Research by CGA for UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association and the British Institute of Inn keeping found support on VAT and business rates are top of hospitality's essential business support needs. Four in 10 affected businesses have stated that the government needs to extend its VAT cut to remain viable.
We ask Government to extend the VAT reduction from 1 April 2021 up to and including 31 March 2022.
For more information and to support the campaign, please visit www.raisethebarcampaign.co.uk