“Eight weeks to save the nation’s high streets from Armageddon”

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Raisethebar campaign says UK high streets on brink

Related tags: UnitedWeStand, Coronavirus

UK High Streets are on the brink of collapse as the eight-week countdown to the next quarterly rent instalment begins today.

That’s according to the #RaiseTheBar campaign,​ which has released figures today (4 May) showing 54,638 businesses including restaurants, pubs, bars and hotels are currently unable to access the £25,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant due to their business rates valuation falling between £51,000 - £150,000.

Plans for a £617m discretionary fund announced by Government on 2 May do not go far enough, #RaiseTheBar says, with no guarantees local authorities will issue relief.

The #RaiseTheBar campaign estimates a maximum of £1.365bn in Government support is needed to enable the RHLG grant to support all 54,638 businesses falling within a business rates threshold of £51,000 to £150,000.

Launched on 21 April 2020, #RaiseTheBar is calling on the Government to raise the £51,000 business rates threshold cap to £150,000.

The campaign has secured cross-party support. 86 Conservative MPs wrote to the Chancellor last week in an open letter calling for the business rates threshold to be increased and the Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds MP has also written to Rishi Sunak to bring to his attention to the #RaiseTheBar campaign.

The #RaiseTheBar campaign believes access to the £25,000 is the difference between survival and bankruptcy for businesses on high streets across England and Wales.

“Access to the RHLG grant is a ticking time bomb for tens of thousands of businesses on our high streets and in our local communities," says #RaiseTheBar co-founder and Croydon BID CEO Matthew Sims. 

"There are just eight weeks until rent is due and the prospect of going under is an uncomfortable truth the Government needs to hear and act upon now. The consequences of failing to increase the business rates threshold are too grim to bear.”

“London’s night time economy makes a huge contribution to life in our capital, but so many of these local businesses are under threat because of the impact of the coronavirus," says Night Czar for the Greater London Authority Amy Lamé.

"They have rightly closed their doors to play their part in tackling this health crisis, but too many are not being supported by the government despite losing their entire income. It’s essential the Government raises the bar so that these treasured businesses can get the support they need so they are able to open their doors again when the time comes.”

Related topics: Business

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