SUNDERLAND BID has joined a national campaign calling on the Government to offer more support to help the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors survive.
Under the current scheme, only businesses which have a rateable value of £51,000 or less are entitled to access a £25,000 grant.
And that means that 80 per cent of businesses in these vital sectors – which are worth £635bn to the country’s economy – are currently not eligible for any support.
Launched by Croydon BID, #RaiseTheBar is asking central Government to move the threshold from £51k to include any business with a rateable value of up to and including £150,000 – allowing these companies to be eligible for the £25k grant.
And the move is being fully supported by Sunderland BID, which represents many businesses which falls into these sectors.
“This is a crucial time for all businesses and we know that many are missing out on getting this Government grant because of their rateable value,” said Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID. “The value that these sectors bring to our local economy and to the economy of towns and cities across the UK is huge and they absolutely need our support.
“We are fully behind this campaign and will be adding our voice to those of other BIDS, British BIDS, the BID Foundation, industry trade bodies and politicians to lobby the Government to raise the current threshold.”
As part of the unified national campaign, #RaiseTheBar has written to The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rt. Hon.
Alok Sharma MP, to highlight the plight facing many operators.
Matthew Sims, Chief Executive of Croydon BID which has spearhearded the campaign said that he “ acknowledged that by increasing the RHLG threshold up to and including £150,000 it will increase the burden on central and local government.
“This is a price we believe is worth paying to ensure businesses are given the opportunity to become part of the greater push to mobilise our economy, rather than leaving premises empty, growing unemployment with or without the job retention scheme and sectors contracting across the board.”