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Sheffield BID joins Raise The Bar campaign to expand support for stricken businesses

Industry leaders, political figures and Business Improvement Districts are calling on the Government to help businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors who have a rateable value of more than £51,000.

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Sheffield BID is supporting the launch of a national campaign, #RaiseTheBar, asking Central Government to expand the rateable value threshold for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses from £51,000 to any business with a rateable value up to and including £150,000, allowing more businesses the opportunity to access a £25,000 grant in order to survive.

In Sheffield city centre, there are many businesses who cannot access the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant because they occupy properties with a rateable value exceeding £51,000. Increasing the threshold to an upper limit of £150,000 would provide £3.9m of vital support for another 157 city centre businesses and an estimated 400 more businesses in the wider city.

Feedback from businesses suggests that they are carrying significant stock losses and are facing immediate cash flow challenges that wage subsidies will not address. Many are not able to take on further debt or have serious misgivings about being able to survive the recovery and service their loans.

Diane Jarvis, Sheffield BID Manager, said: "We appreciate further financial support increases the burden on Central and Local Government. We believe this is a price worth paying because without it we risk thousands of jobs lost, growing unemployment and more empty premises as businesses that could have otherwise supported the UK's recovery are lost."

Mark Hobson, Managing Director of Corporation Nightclub and a director at Sheffield BID, said: "The night-time economy is vital to the future of the city both culturally and financially. Over 40 city centre pubs, clubs and bars have missed out on the £25,000 grant due to having [a rateable value] above the £51k cap and the city cannot afford to lose these.

"This anomaly risks putting thousands out of work and losing the local authority hundreds of thousands of pounds. Multiplied nationally, this oversight could be catastrophic."

City centre BID members adding their voice to the campaign include local independent investors Sean Gregory (Smoke BBQ), Kane Yeardley (True North Brew Co, which owns several venues including The Common Room, Forum Café Bar and The Old House), Adrian Bagnoli (Cubana Tapas Bar & Restaurant), and Matt Bigland (The Milestone Group, owners of The Cutlery Works and Craft & Dough).

Businesses and members of the public across the UK are urged to sign the petition at change.org.

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