£6.1 million funding boost to help high streets and town centres through pandemic

Business Improvement Districts will receive funding in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Written on April 6, 2020 by Xeinadin Group

  • Business Improvement Districts set to receive £6.1 million in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
  • Hundreds of BIDs across England will receive support to help cover their day to day costs for the next 3 months
  • Today’s funding comes on top of the government’s comprehensive package of support for business and workers during the economic emergency

Hundreds of local business partnerships across England will share £6.1m of funding to spend on projects that will help their local economies through the uncertainty of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, High Streets Minister Simon Clarke MP confirmed (1 May 2020).

The money will be paid to local authorities and dispersed to Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). These are local business partnerships that bring developers and communities together to provide local leadership, drive regeneration and deliver projects and additional local services.

Many BIDs are now playing a crucial role during these challenging economic times, offering hands-on support to those businesses affected, including advice services, increased security to protect businesses that have closed, and providing key intelligence to local and central government on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their local economies.

High Streets Minister Simon Clarke MP said:

The government has announced a comprehensive programme of support for businesses to help them deal with the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and today we are extending that support to Business Improvement Districts.

BIDs are uniquely placed and have a proven track record of success in supporting local businesses, empowering communities, championing our town centres and driving forward the renewal of our high streets.

It’s only right that during these unprecedented times we give them all the necessary support they need to continue operating, so that they can carry on their vital work now and crucially when we move into the recovery phase from the current crisis.

Today’s funding comes on top of the government’s comprehensive package of support for business and workers during the economic emergency including:

  • the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a government grant of 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month, backdated to 1 March and available for at least 3 months
  • £330 billion worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses including a new Bounce Back Loans scheme, which will provide loans of up to £50,000 available to the smallest businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic
  • a deferral of the next quarter of VAT payments for firms, until the end of June 2020 - representing a £30 billion injection into the economy
  • a £12.3 billion package for local authorities to deliver grants of up to £25,000 to eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors
  • new temporary measures to safeguard the UK high street against aggressive debt recovery actions during the coronavirus pandemic

BIDs are proven an effective vehicle of leveraging private investment and have a significant role to play in high street regeneration: in 2019, BIDs across England raised over £106.7 million through levy payments to invest back into their respective towns and cities. Their role will be even more important in the recovery phase from the current crisis.

Further information is available at https://www.gov.uk

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