Message from Sheffield BID Manager, Diane Jarvis

Working on behalf of our members and the wider city, the Sheffield Business Improvement District remains open to provide advice and support to businesses across the city centre. Our teams remain visible on the street providing our services and talking with member businesses and organisations.

The recent news that Sheffield and wider South Yorkshire towns are classified as High Risk by the Government’s local COVID alert level has ushered in fresh restrictions. These are intended to reduce the risk of transmission but in doing so will likely further reduce commercial activity that will impact on the very organisations that bring life and joy to our city centre and the livelihoods that underpin their operation. I know many of the businesses and organisations in the city centre; my team, the Board and I have been working to support the city centre since 2015 and know very well how much work, sweat and grit goes into running these businesses and organisations. We’re here to provide as much support as we possibly can.

We want to hear your views. It is critical that we have the opinions from people on the ground to help us with our engagement with local, regional and national politicians.

We want to be sure that we are representing your views effectively. Our team are about so please do let them know and of course you can get in contact with me directly.

I know the restrictions put in place will cost businesses and organisations dearly and the Government needs to help them more fully. Half measures will only yield poor results. Alongside the financial stimulus that is required, we need to think about the longer term. While many of us predicted the second wave earlier in the summer, we simply do not know where there is pandemic is going and whether further restrictions and transmission spikes might happen. We have to assume they will.

As such, the only sustainable way through this is far greater local control and accountability over track and trace approaches, in close collaboration with national endeavours alongside a local say over the imposition of restrictive measures. Only with local accountability and clarity of purpose can we see a light through this period.

I will be making these points in my forward looking engagements and am keen to hear your views.