Northampton BID backs call for ‘special support’ measures for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

2 December 2020: Northampton town centre Business Improvement District (BID) has announced its support for the newly launched ‘Bounce Back Better’ campaign, which calls for special measures to be introduced to support struggling retail, hospitality and leisure businesses amid the new tier lockdown system.

Today (Wednesday 2 December 2020), England has moved back into a tiered system, placing irrevocable pressure on hospitality businesses in Northamptonshire, but also those in retail and leisure sectors.

UKHospitality has already warned that the new Tier 3 system will result in 94% of hospitality businesses becoming unviable by March 2021. In Tier 2 it is 75% and even at Tier 1 it is 25%.

The campaign centres around a manifesto, created alongside other UK BIDs, local authorities, destinations, and industry bodies. It outlines a range of packages which would provide a vital lifeline for hospitality, retail, and leisure businesses alike.

Mark Mullen, Operations Manager at Northampton BID, said: “Additional action is essential to ensure our town centre businesses can survive and recover from the new tier restrictions. This is vital to protect the future of our high streets and to prevent further unemployment.

The government has offered re-assurance that it will do whatever it takes to support businesses and help them to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses are hanging on the balance and need the government to provide further support in sector specific measures to stave off mass closure and job losses. Now, more than ever, we need the Chancellor to stand by his promise to do whatever it takes.”

Northampton BID, which represents more than 670 town centre businesses, has written letters to local MPs, urging them to get behind the new ‘Bounce Back Better’ campaign.

Mark added: “We would also encourage all businesses to get involved and share the ‘Bounce Back Better’ manifesto to help spread the word.”

Four essential asks in the Bounce Back Better manifesto:

  1. One-off grant for retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses

We ask Government to provide a one-off ‘Bounce Back’ grant of up to £15,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in Tier 2 and Tier 3 across England and Wales with a rateable value of up to and including £150,000. This would support 137,000 businesses vital funds delivered in a manner Local Authorities are equipped to distribute at a total maximum cost of £2.05bn.

  1. Pause National Insurance employer contributions for furloughed employees

We ask Government to remove the burden of National Insurance from employers whose staff are on furlough, saving the average business £2,000 per month until 31st March 2021.

  1. Extension of 100% business rates holiday for 2021/22

We ask Government to extend the 100% business rates holiday into 2021/2022 for businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sector. Every pound saved is a pound to help businesses stay trading and retain staff.

  1. Extension of the VAT reduction scheme

We ask Government to extend the VAT reduction from 1 April 2021 up to and including 31 March 2022.