The pressures facing our levy payers and other businesses are not solved by the energy price cap that was announced yesterday, which itself brings six months of relief from high gas and electricity charges. Inflation, consumer confidence, rising interest rates, and the falling value of the pound all have a big impact on margins too.

BusinessSOS

The clear threat to high streets in the plainest terms has been outlined in a joint letter to the Prime Minister as part of a collective BusinessSOS campaign. 

All BIDs across the UK are working with the High Streets Task Force Sector Leaders Group, including: 

  • Association of Town and City Management
  • Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies
  • BID Foundation
  • British Beer and Pub Association
  • British BIDs
  • British Independent Retail Association
  • British Property Federation
  • Institute of Place Management
  • National Association of British Market Authorities
  • National Market Traders Federation
  • Night- Time Industries Association
  • REVO
  • UKHospitality.

There are two common ‘asks’ from all co-signatories to this campaign: 

  • relief of business rates, and
  • a reduction in VAT for retail, hospitality and leisure

Alongside this collective lobbying effort, our own industry body The BID Foundation is in constant contact with the Cities and Local Growth Unit that sits across BEIS (Dept for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and DLUHC (Dept for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities).

Collectively we are all in a position to work constructively with government on new growth-focused policy for high streets.

Tomorrow (22.09.22) will see the so-called ‘mini-budget’ measures announced. We know it is likely to include policy such as ‘investment or enterprise zones’ that will be used to prompt growth in a place-based way.

We are keen to hear from you or any other businesses about your current challenges, particularly where there are longstanding successful businesses at risk, even with energy cap support.

I hope that our collective efforts to influence government policy will bear fruit, and we’ll continue to work as part of this group to shape the BID and business agenda.

Diane Jarvis, Sheffield BID

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