NORTH NOTTS BID BACKS “BOUNCE BACK BETTER” CAMPAIGN AS RETAIL INDUSTRY IS HIT BY NEW TIERED SYSTEM

NORTH NOTTS BID has announced its support for the Bounce Back Better campaign which calls for special measures to be introduced to support struggling hospitality businesses amid the new tier lockdown system.

On Wednesday 2 December 2020, England will fall back into a tiered system, placing irrevocable pressure on hospitality businesses in North Nottinghamshire 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%.

Bounce Back Better 2020 campaign image

The campaign centres around a manifesto, created alongside other nationwide Business Improvement Districts [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.

Sally Gillborn, chief executive at North Notts BID, said: “Additional action is essential to ensure the towns of North Nottinghamshire, and the businesses that operate within them, are able to survive and recover from the new tier restrictions. This is vital to protect the future of our high streets and to prevent further unemployment.

“Retail and hospitality businesses are at the heart of nearly every community, forming high streets that are a hub of activity across our region. We understand the importance of keeping these businesses afloat and we want to do everything we can to get behind them and provide an essential lifeline.” 

Matthew Sims, founder of the Bounce Back Better campaign and CEO of Croydon Business Improvement District, said: “The government has provided assurances it will do whatever it takes to support British businesses and help them to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses are approaching a cliff edge and need the government to provide a parachute 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.”

The Bounce Back Manifesto consists of four essential elements:

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

Local Authorities lack the administrative and payments infrastructure required to facilitate monthly financial support model proposed by government for eligible businesses in Tier 2 and Tier 3 – many businesses are receiving funds too late, or worse, not at all. 

We ask the 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 business’ vital funds delivered in a manner that local authorities are equipped to distribute at a total maximum cost of £2.05bn. 

  1. Pause for national insurance employer contributions for furloughed employees

For the furlough scheme investment to date of £47m to be fully effective, business support must reflect short and long term challenges.  

While employees receive 80% of their salary through the extension of the furlough scheme, businesses are still paying out for National Insurance, placing greater strain on survival. At an average wage of £9.50 per hour, working 7.5 hours per day, 5 days a week, the National Insurance cost to a business in hospitality with 10 staff is £491.60 per week.  Every month, on top of all the other costs, businesses will be paying out £1,966.50 – nearly two thirds of the upper limit of funding provided by the government currently.

We ask the 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. An extension of 100% business rates holiday for 2021/22

The ‘payment holiday’ for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value less than £51,000 earlier this year was an extraordinary and critical measure saving each business up to £25,000, a total tax cut worth over £1bn.

We ask the 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. An extension of the VAT reduction scheme

The cut in VAT from 20% to 5% is a major boost for the hospitality sector enabling businesses to pass on a £4.1 billion saving onto consumers. With a vaccine becoming a reality in the coming months, our bed and breakfasts, hotels and restaurants could be a vital catalyst to local economic recovery.

Research by CGA for UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association and the British Institute of Inn keeping found support on VAT and business rates are top of hospitality’s essential business support needs. Four in 10 affected businesses have stated that the government needs to extend its VAT cut to remain viable.

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

To find out more about the campaign, visit www.raisethebarcampaign.com

For more information contact North Notts BID Chief Executive Sally Gillborn sally.gillborn@northnottsbid.co.uk