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Over 100 destinations urge UK government to deliver 'business booster' and save retail, hospitality and leisure firms

Business Booster campaign

20th December 2021


Retail, hospitality and leisure sectors across the UK urgently need financial support to survive the impact of the Omicron variant and ‘Plan B’ restrictions, and to preserve vital businesses on our high streets.

The BID Foundation, along with over 100 UK destinations, has written to the Prime Minster to urge government to provide a ‘Business Booster’ of support measures amidst concern about further restrictions and as many businesses struggle to survive, with an estimated £4bn already lost by the hospitality sector alone.


The letter states that ‘with consumer confidence expected to drop below its current level of -15 amid growing speculation of an impending lockdown, the time for action is now’. It goes on to say that ‘failing to act (will) not only see thousands of businesses go to the wall but the real prospect that billions of previously allocated Government funds going to waste simply because we did not act to save our economy’.

Business Booster support

The Business Booster campaign outlines three support measures which are needed to secure the future of retail, hospitality and leisure businesses:

  • An increase of business rates relief, from the current 25% discount to 100% discount, for the first three months of 2022, followed by tapering support of 50% Business Rate Relief from 1stApril 2022 through to 30th June 2022.

  • An extension to VAT reduction, to 31 March 2023 at 12.5%, to allow the hospitality, retail and leisure sector to respond and support the re-emergence of the UK economy.

  • 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 25th December 2021.

Matthew Sims, CEO of Croydon BID and Founder of the Business Booster campaign said:

"It is baffling and alarming that our Chancellor is doggedly sticking to measures which are out of date and out of touch with the stark and desperate reality retail, hospitality and leisure are facing. Without swift intervention, many businesses will be faced with closures, layoffs and cutbacks masking the significant financial support Government has ploughed into these sectors during the pandemic a woeful waste of money."

The letter to the Prime Minister also points out that the Business Improvement District sector is ready to support the government with intelligence about what is happening on high streets and in affected sectors. It points out the imperative to ‘learn of the challenges town and city centres are currently facing, and work collaboratively together on suitable solutions during this challenging time.’

The cross-sector letter is supported by The BID Foundation, British BIDs, ATCM, and over 100 UK BIDs.


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