• Fraser Urquhart Media

Coventry BID Lobby Government With Urgent ‘#RaiseTheBar’ Campaign



Coventry BID is, today, joining forces with BID organisations up and down the country to lobby central government as part of an urgent ‘Raise The Bar’ campaign.

The campaign – which is being led by Croydon BID – will appeal to Central 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 businesses the opportunity to access the £25,000 grant in order to survive. The campaign is supported by industry wide bodies that represent over 100,000 businesses across the UK.

The retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are vital to the UK economy and must be protected at all costs. The retail industry alone generated £394 billion worth of sales in 2019 with 306,655 units across the UK. In 2019, the UK leisure sector reached over £111 billion in sales. The UK hospitality employs over 3.2 million people, that is 11% of UK jobs, making it the third largest sector in the UK, accounting for £130 billion in revenue, 6% of all businesses and 5% GDP.

In Coventry alone, there are 19,000 businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000 and therefore with no access to the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant. We believe strongly that the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant provision and, in particular, the threshold of £51,000 to be far too low to provide adequate support to these businesses in their time of need.

Trish Willets, Coventry BID Director comments; “Just because a business has a rateable value of more than £51,000 doesn’t mean that they have deep pockets and can afford not to have governmental support. Here in Coventry, we’re aware of many family businesses that have missed out on the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant offered by the government because of their rateable value and we, at Coventry BID, are standing up and using our voice to say ‘it’s not fair’ As a city centre we want to see all of our businesses get fair access to every grant and support that is on offer – and seek parity for all”.

Whether these businesses are independent or operating from more than one location, we forget those with a rateable value of £51,000 or more at our peril. Feedback from them suggests that they are carrying significant stock losses and are still facing immediate cash flow challenges that wage subsidies will not address. Many are not able to take on further debt or have serious misgivings about being able to survive the recovery and service loans.

Trish Willets, continues; “We acknowledge that by increasing the RHLG threshold up to and including £150,000 will increase the burden on central and local government, but we feel this is a price 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. In raising the bar, we are giving these firms a fighting chance of surviving”.

The #RaiseTheBar appeal is supported by many industry leaders and businesses and will, for most, offer the single biggest difference in their personal commercial fight against this crisis.

This is a collective campaign designed to support the people that work for and run businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Across the UK, there are individual, personal concerns and uncertainties surrounding the economy and the effect that COVID-19 will have on them. In amending the rateable value from £51,000 to £150,000, we not only save businesses but jobs, too.

To support the campaign individually whether you work in the sectors or not, you can visit www.raisethebarcampaign.co.uk and sign up to make a positive change.

To find out more about Coventry BID visit www.coventrycitycentre.co.uk

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