We have joined the #RaiseTheBar campaign in partnership with industry trade bodies across the UK including other British Business Improvement Districts, BID Foundation and ATCM, to support our BID members in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. The campaign calls on the Government to support businesses within these sectors who have a rateable value of more than £51,000.
Croydon BID is leading the #RaiseTheBar campaign, asking Central Government to expand the rateable value threshold 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. Our campaign is supported by industry wide bodies that represent over 100,000 businesses across the UK.
The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure are vital to the UK economy and must be protected at all costs.
- The retail sector alone generated £394 billion worth of sales in 2019 employing over
2.9 million people across the UK
- The UK leisure sector has reached over £111 billion in sales employing over 663,000
- The UK hospitality sector employs over 3.2 million people – 11% of UK jobs, making it
the third largest sector in the UK, accounting for £130 billion in revenue, 6% of all UK
businesses and 5% GDP.
In total, the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors deliver a combined £635 billion to the national economy every year. As we approach a recession and economic upheaval, it is vital thee sectors are given the chance and tools to be resilient.
In London 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.
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 we also save jobs.
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses are some of the country’s most adaptable and the economy will need them to stave off the threat of cessation and revitalise our communities and the nation’s wellbeing.
Matthew Sims, Chief Executive of Croydon BID said: “We acknowledge that by increasing the RHLG threshold up to and including £150,000 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 and depleted high street and town centre communities”.
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. Our request supported by many industry leaders and businesses will, for most, offer the single biggest difference in their personal commercial fight against this crisis.
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.
The #RaiseTheBar campaign launched on Tuesday 21 April and it has now reached every part of the UK which demonstrates the need felt by business owners across the country for more help and support from the Government.
So what have we done?
- On Tuesday 21 April, Croydon BID, supported by national industry and political leaders wrote a letter to the Secretary of State Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP, calling on the Government to increase the rateable value threshold.
- At the Prime Minister’s Question Time on Wednesday 22nd April 2020, Lucy Powell MP (Manchester Central) raised the key question of the national #RaiseTheBar campaign and
asked the First Secretary if he will extend cash grants and deliver a rescue package to stop
thousands of hospitality, leisure and retail businesses from disappearing. In the first ever virtual Prime Minister’s Question Time, Lucy Powell, Labour MP for Manchester Central since 2012, said,
“Nearly three-quarters of hospitality don’t qualify for the grants and, for most, loans just aren’t
an option. Given that the hospitality and the retail sector are the lifeblood of our high streets,
and are likely to face the longest government-enforced closure, will he extend cash grants and come up with a rescue package to stop thousands of pubs, restaurants, shops and venues from disappearing altogether?”
The First Secretary’s reassuring response was that he agreed with her in regard to the challenge we have and said that they [the Government] want to ensure that all of these businesses can bounce back. The First Secretary mentioned the tax deferrals and other measures that have already been announced, but said that he will see if the chancellor can do anything else. He spoke about the need and wish to look after all small businesses and industry sectors.
Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are playing a significant role across the UK to mobilise support within their business networks with over 100 BIDs now signed up to support the cause alongside the BID Foundation, British BIDs and Association of Town and City Management.
We are seeing a huge escalation of the momentum for our campaign with a greater number of media stories in national, trade and regional outlets enabling our simple message to reach new audiences.
We need to encourage our businesses to get behind the campaign using their own communications channels. This ‘Get Involved’ infographic provides a step by step ask to make it easy for not only businesses but also their customers.