Bristol City Centre BID gives backing to #RaiseTheBar campaignPosted on: 19 May 2020
The campaign is calling on the government to offer greater support to high street outlets following the COVID-19 crisis.
The Bristol City Centre BID has officially given its backing to the #RaiseTheBar campaign, a demand for increased grants to give vital lifelines to a wide range of businesses.
With up to 100 businesses in Bristol city centre alone currently at-risk, the campaign is calling on the government specifically to raise the threshold of its Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant (RHLG).
Word from the #RaiseTheBar campaign suggests that UK high streets are on the brink of collapse, with as many as 54,000 businesses across the country from pubs to shops, restaurants, hotels, gyms and more left without support.
The Bristol City Centre has backed the campaign in calling on the UK government to expand the rateable value threshold for eligible businesses to access the RHLG, from £51,000 up to £150,000.
Popular Bristol spots not currently eligible for financial support include The Milk Thistle on Colston Avenue and No 1 Harbourside, both of which pay higher business rates as a result of the value of their premises, and as such don't currently qualify for the grant.
It’s essential the Government #RaiseTheBar for grants - to £150k. Night time businesses desperately need support so they are able to open their doors again when the time comes. #COVID19 https://t.co/aseiUeEKmu— Night Czar (gov.uk/coronavirus) (@nightczar) May 4, 2020
At the time of writing (Tuesday 19 May), 86 MPs have signed an open letter to the Chancellor, calling for the rateable value threshold for the RHLG to be increased, which would provide a vital lifeline for many more at-risk businesses.
"The government has done a great deal to support businesses through this torrid time, and few are more affected than the retail, hospitality and leisure sector," says Keith Rundle, Operations Director at Bristol City Centre BID.
"But this support simply doesn’t go far enough if it means help is out of the reach of some of our most popular and successful venues, which have had no choice but to close their doors for an unknown and significant duration.
“Access to this grant could be the difference between opening again for everyone to enjoy and closing for good, unable to survive the unprecedented financial battle brought about by COVID-19.”
For more information on #RaiseTheBar or to find out how you can get behind the campaign, visit the official website. To find out more about the Bristol City Centre BID's support for local businesses through the COVID-19 crisis, head to their dedicated support page.
#SaveOurVenues: The Mother's Ruin joins campaign, launches crowdfunder
Having moved to Bristol from Cornwall in 2015, Matt graduated from UWE with a degree in Journalism in 2018. He's keen on a wide variety of musical genres, as well as taking an interest in art and illustration, producing his own work in his spare time. Matt makes the most of Bristol's diverse nightlife and attends gigs and club nights regularly. Get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.