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News Report Page 3 of 9
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Local business partnerships across England to receive ₤6.1 million in response to the Coronavirus pandemic

HUNDREDS of Business Improvement Districts across England will receive support to help cover their day to day costs for the next 3 months. This 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 High Streets through the uncertainty of the Coronavirus pandemic, High Streets Minister Simon Clarke MP confirmed on 1 May 2020.

The money will be paid to Local Authorities and dispersed to Business Improvement Districts (BID's). 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 BID's 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 Coronavirus pandemic and today we are extending that support to Business Improvement Districts. These partnerships 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 next phase of 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 2020 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.

► Businesses in the retail, Hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 Tax Year.

► A deferral of the next ¼ 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.

British BID's Chief Executive Chris Turner commented:- "Government has listened to the requests that we have made on behalf of the BID industry. I am exceptionally grateful to the numerous BID's that have actively supported and engaged with this process, particularly those who joined in our initial Q&A sessions and completed the online survey which, together, provided us with the evidence that we needed. My thanks also must go to those levy paying businesses that have backed their BID's in the request for assistance and to the ATCM and the BID Foundation who have worked in partnership with us on this. I am pleased that the outcome is this announcement of much needed support for the industry."

Bill Addy, Chair of The BID Foundation, said:- "BID's have already stepped up to support those affected by the Covid-19 crisis. This includes:- working with local Councils, emergency services and businesses to ensure help and information gets to those who need it; supporting shuttered shops to adapt and deliver their services online; and helping to coordinate safe and secure spaces that meet health advice. This new Government support is a partial safeguard for BID's, which are paid for by their member businesses, and will enable them in the short term to continue their vital local efforts now and to plan for the future."

Simon Quin, Executive Director of the High Streets Task Force, said:- "BID's have established networks and capacity in their local areas which provide vital coordination and help, both for businesses getting back on their feet and for communities that will need guidance and reassurance to return to the High Street, when it is safe to do so. By accessing this support, BID's can ensure they continue to make a real difference to the recovery of our town and City Centres."

BID's are proven an effective vehicle of leveraging private investment and have a significant role to play in High Street regeneration; in 2019, BID's 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.

Witness appeal after man sustains serious head injury in Merseyside


BRITISH Transport Police Detectives investigating the circumstances behind a man sustaining a serious head injury at Halewood station are today appealing for witnesses. On Monday, 27 April 2020, a man was found shortly after 7.30am unresponsive and with a serious injury on the platform of Halewood Station. He was taken to Hospital by Ambulance, where he remains in a critical condition. He has been identified as a 35 year old man from Southall, in West London. His family have been informed. British Transport Police Officers have conducted extensive enquiries to try and establish how the man sustained his injury. They are now appealing for anyone who may have witnessed what happened, or who saw him in the hours or days leading up to it to get in touch with them.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Lewis said:-
"Sadly this gentleman is in a very serious condition in Hospital, and we are working tirelessly to piece together his movements so we can establish exactly how he sustained his injury. We know that he's from West London, but despite extensive enquiries, we do not yet know why he was in the area. He was wearing distinctive trousers with a white and orange stripe down the side at the time, and we hope these images of him may help to jog people's memories. If you have any information as to why he may have travelled to Merseyside, or saw him in the hours or days leading up to Monday then I would urge you to get in touch with us as soon as possible. Likewise, if you were in the Halewood area, on Monday, and saw anything which you think may be of help to us. You can contact us by texting:- 'BTP 61016' or ringing:- 0800405040 quoting reference:- '138 of 01/05/20.'"

Fabulous Farm Shops directory helps you find local services and supports farming charity

IF you're having trouble getting groceries, finding fresh produce or just want to avoid crowds and long queues, Fabulous Farm Shops online directory of farm shops could be just what you're looking. More people are turning to local farm shops, and Fabulous Farm Shops are seeing a huge increase in users of their directory. This comprehensive online directory lists every farm shop in England and is updating the site daily to show you which farm shops in your community are able to offer delivery, contactless collection or even drive thru services to combat the spread of Covid-19. Wanting to give back, and help aid the financial and mental wellbeing of the incredible farming network, Fabulous Farm Shops have pledged to donate 100% their annual enhanced farm shop listing fees, received before 5/7/20, to The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I.), a wonderful charity who can help keep your local farming community happy, healthy, and there for you.  R.A.B.I. has an experienced team of Welfare Officers that provide a caring, human link to tailored support for the farming community. 1 of the key things R.A.B.I. provide is financial assistance which can help ease stress and anxiety, as well as organising free business appraisals and debt advice. So, if you're looking for local supplies from a farm shop near you, and want to find them through a company that gives back, head to:- FabulousFarmShops.Co.UK for a free and easy helping hand.

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