Liverpool BID Company represents more than 1,500 businesses and is joining the national #RaiseTheBar campaign to expand coronavirus support for retail, hospitality and leisure firms. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool BID Company is joining a national campaign to persuade the Government to extend its coronavirus rescue packages to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that have a rateable value of more than £51,000.
With all bars, restaurants and many retailers now closed under the coronavirus lockdown the impact on the sector has been devastating. Even if the lockdown is eased in the coming weeks, social distancing measures are likely to remain in place.
Between them, retail, hospitality and leisure generated more than £600bn in revenues in 2019 and provided employment for millions of people. Hospitality, alone, is worth £130bn and accounts for 5% of UK GDP. They are the key drivers of Liverpool city region’s £5bn visitor economy.
In March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a series of measures to help businesses as they battled with the “economic emergency” caused by the coronavirus. In particular, he offered grants of £10,000 and £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value of up to £51,000.
Now Liverpool BID, which represents more than 1,500 businesses in Liverpool city centre his joining the #RaiseTheBar campaign which aims to persuade the Government to expand the rateable value threshold for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses from £51,000 to any business with a rateable value up to and including £150,000, allowing them to access the £25,000 grant.
BID ha calculated that In Liverpool, changing the rateable value would impact almost 224 businesses not currently eligible for the grant in the Liverpool BID areas, covering the commercial district and the city centre.
Changing the rateable value upper limit to £100,000 upper limit would add another 172 businesses into the total, with a grant amount of £4.3m. Raising the limit to £150,000 would mean support for a further 52 businesses, a grant totalling £5.6m of support to 607 businesses in total.
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID and chair of the BID Foundation, said: “We cannot underestimate the importance of our retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and not just to what they bring to our economy but the people that are employed within them.
“That is why the Business Improvement Districts across the UK are supporting the #RaiseTheBar Campaign. It is obvious that even with an expansion of the cap, that not all businesses will benefit. What we believe to be important is that the grant scheme is reasonably extended as critically, this will help thousands of businesses to adapt to the challenges ahead.”
To support the campaign individually whether you work in the sectors or not, you can visit www.change.org.uk and sign up to make a positive change.