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Harrogate BID backs campaign to support high street following 'Plan B' covid uncertainty

Harrogate BID is calling on the Prime Minister to offer financial assistance to businesses disrupted by rising covid cases and the impact of ‘Plan B’ measures.

More than 100 UK town and city centre organisations, including Harrogate BID, are calling on the Prime Minister to offer financial assistance to businesses disrupted by rising cases of the Omicron variant and the impact of ‘Plan B’ measures. The campaign, which also has the backing of more than 100,000 retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, is urging the Government to provide a #BusinessBooster and urgent assurances that financial support will be provided to these sectors. Being led by Matthew Sims, Chief Executive of Croydon BID and Co-Founder of #RaiseTheBar, it represents one of the largest networks of businesses across the United Kingdom. Business Improvement Districts (BIDS), UK Hospitality, British Beer and Pub Association and Night Time Industries Association, and it is calling on the Government for the following: Business Rates Relief Provide businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with 100 per cent Business Rate Relief for up to and including 31 March 2022 (no cap). After which we call on the Government to support the recovery by providing businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a 50 per cent Business Rate Relief from 1 April 2022 to 3 June 2022 (no cap). The current package of 25 per cent Business Rate Relief was designed for an open economy, post Covid. The rise of the Omicron variant, increased restrictions and their impact on hospitality, leisure and retail require a response from Government that mirrors lockdown support. VAT Extension Extend the current VAT reduction for the hospitality sector of 12.5 per cent through to 31 March 2023 to allow the sector to respond and support the re-emergence of the UK economy. The current rate of 12.5 per cent allows businesses to achieve cost savings and most importantly of all for the economy and consumer confidence, not to pass the increased cost on allowing for the economy to recover once more in Spring 2022. Provide Grants Introduce grants up to £15,000 by rateable value to businesses within the hospitality, retail and leisure sector to enable them to survive in light of a festive trading period in tatters, a bleak outlook for the new Year and the impending rent quarter date of 25 December 2021. Harrogate BID Manager Matthew Chapman said:

“Plan B and growing concerns over the Omicron variant has had a massive impact on business, in particular those in hospitality and leisure. “For many it is the nightmare before Christmas, and we are backing this campaign as without financial support, some businesses will not survive the next few months.”
Further information about Harrogate BID is available from its website, http://harrogatebid.co.uk/ Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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