Kirklees Council have announced that they will fund the Business Improvement District (BID) levy charges for some Town Centre businesses in a further effort to support the local economic recovery.
The Council will use funds from the Discretionary Grant Scheme to further support eligible businesses who pay the charge in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years. If an eligible business has already paid the levy charge – this will be refunded.
BID levy payers from independent businesses in retail, hospitality, leisure, and accommodation, that have been required to close since last November as part of Covid-19 restrictions, are to benefit from the move.
BIDs are business-led partnerships that promote and improve town centres. They are funded through a levy on business rate payers, in addition to their business rates bill. These projects are designed to improve the local trading environment and, in Huddersfield, have helped with extra safety and security plus cleansing and environmental measures.
David Shepherd, Strategic Director for Growth and Economy said:
“It’s vital we continue to support local businesses in their effort to survive the pandemic. We owe it to them to direct all available funding where it is needed most.”
“I’m delighted we can offer additional support for smaller, independent businesses, so they can focus on bouncing-back. These businesses help to create the diversity of our retail and hospitality offer in the town centre. This is crucial for attracting footfall back into the town centre once it’s safe to do so, and so start our economic recovery.”
Matthew Chapman, Manager of Huddersfield BID added:
“The BID welcomes this support from the council that will enable us to plan for 2021/22 with certainty and deliver a full programme of activity. The BID’s work to create and promote a vibrant town centre, support local businesses, and ensure the centre is safe and accessible for residents and visitors has never been more important. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the council to ensure Huddersfield Town Centre bounces back in the best possible way in 2021.”
The measure compliments the Chancellor’s decision to extend the Expanded Retail Discount business rate relief scheme. Under the scheme, eligible retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses will receive a 100% business rates relief from 1 April to 30 June 2021, dropping to 66% relief until 31 March 2022.
Kirklees Council also continues to distribute government Covid-19 support grants, paying out more than £141million since the pandemic began.
Businesses can find further details of support available from the council at www.kirklees.gov.uk/business.