If you run or own a business please write to Nadhim Zahawi and ask for support as we are in Tier 3! Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
We have written to Nadhim and also circulated our letter widely. We are raising awareness of the problems busineses are facing and need you to help.
Letter to Nadhim Zahawi MP , House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
30th November 2020
Covid Measures from 2nd December 2020
I am writing on behalf of the BID to express our huge shock and overwhelming concern about the designation of Warwickshire and Stratford upon Avon as Tier 3 from December 2nd . Many of us are still struggling to come to terms with the fact that we have moved from Tier 1 before lockdown to Tier3 at the end of lockdown. We are asking that you continue your efforts to support local businesses in the coming weeks.
Over one quarter of Stratforward’s members are businesses who will be directly impacted by the revised Tier designation. We fear that the lack of widespread activity will have a knock-on impact to other businesses across the town centre. The make-up of the town as a tourism and leisure destination will lead Stratford to suffer more than most.
Our businesses have consistently done what has been asked of them, made sacrifices and changed their business models to respond to the economic and public health needs. December represents the last month of the ‘golden quarter’ for retail and hospitality and this Tier designation may tip the balance for many against survival.
The BID, on behalf of its members, is requesting that you ask Government to:
- Reassess the calculations that placed Warwickshire in Tier 3;
- Revise the Tier designation to be based on a functional geography ie: South Warwickshire;
- Substantially increase the amount of funding available for businesses to weather the storm;
- Consider an early review of the Tiers on the 9th December rather than the 16th (two weeks from the announcement date); &
- Consider the operational business impacts that the announcement of a Tier change after the 16th would have for businesses. It is unreasonable to give a couple of days notice about re-opening.
We believe that these measures would enable businesses to survive, although despite these measures, Tier 2 would remain a significant challenge for business viability. The fear expressed by many of our businesses is it will not be worth opening as they will continue to lose money. If enhanced levels of funding were available, then many of our businesses could simply choose to ‘hibernate’ rather than to trade at a loss.
You will be aware of the #BounceBackBetter manifesto being co-ordinated via ATCM, British BIDs, BID Foundation and Croyden BID which effectively articulates the measures needed to enable our town centres to sustain themselves short term and to provide the support until we enter the recovery phase https://raisethebarcampaign.com/. Saturday’s Daily Telegraph reported that the restrictions will be costing £900m a day so it appears that alternative measures need to be looked at urgently.
The wider long term economic impacts of widespread business failures in affected sectors will be felt across a huge range of industries and sectors: finance, business suppliers, in the housing marketing, in government tax take, plus increased unemployment benefit payments. The loss of sectors like this could be catastrophic and as Roger Scott from Lloyds Bank pointed out yesterday, the banks are holding a huge amount of Government backed debt. Government should be looking at the whole life cost of the pandemic on businesses and take measures that will pay back quicker and more effectively.
I know you are as concerned as our businesses and I hope that with your colleagues in Parliament and partner agencies in Warwickshire you will be able to secure a deal that allows our town centres to continue as viable economic entities.
Stratforward BID Ltd
- Jeremy Wright MP,
- Matt Western MP,
- Andy Street, WMCA
- Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader, Warwickshire County Council
- Cllr Tony Jefferson, Leader Stratford District Council
- Sarah Summers, Stratford Town Council
- Louise Bennett, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce
- Nick Abell, Coventry and Warwickshire LEP
- Lee Osbourne, Federation of Small Businesses
- Helen Peters, Chief Executive, Shakespeare’s England
- John Stacey, Blue Coast Capital
- Ojay McDonald, ATCM
- Chris Turner, British BIDs
- Catherine Mitton, The BID Foundation