AS businesses worry the imminent collapse of the high street may become reality, Bradford BID has backed a campaign calling on the Government to take urgent action.
With talks taking place about an energy prize freeze, more than 150,000 businesses from across the UK are urging Government to act on spiralling energy costs which are proving more detrimental than the pandemic and could cause irreversible damage to UK high streets and the economy.
The #BusinessSOS campaign, founded by organisations representing over 150,000 retail, leisure, hospitality and tourism businesses, warns of mass closure and redundancies if immediate and effective action isn’t taken.
#BusinessSOS three-point-plan to support ailing businesses:
- Reduce VAT
- Headline rate reduced from 20% to 12.5%
- Business energy bills reduced from 20% to 5% to match domestic billing Business Rates Relief
- 100% rate relief until 31st March 2023 Energy Rate Relief
- A discounted kwh price on all business energy bills
Matthew Sims, founder of #BusinessSOS campaign, said: “The new Prime Minister has days to save the high street as we know it. The announcement on how the Government will tackle the energy crisis facing businesses will either ensure businesses can remain trading or set in motion mass closures and redundancies.”
Jonny Noble, manager of Bradford BID, said: “Soaring energy costs and the highest inflation for decades are having a huge effect on all businesses in Bradford and for some the impact is devastating. Without urgent help, there can be no doubt that many will go to the wall.
“The current cost of living scenario has the potential to be far worse than the effect of the Covid pandemic lockdowns with businesses facing wholly unmanageable charges just to keep their lights on and their doors open to customers.
“They also face the very real threat of customers staying away because they’re saving their money to pay for energy bills and increasingly expensive basics such as food and clothing.
“We recognise the scale of this crisis is a huge challenge for the Government but without substantial, targeted help, many businesses will not survive and the repercussions for Bradford – let alone the wider economy – are potentially monumental and extremely damaging for years to come.”
Ojay McDonald, CEO of Association of Town and City Management, said: “Right now, businesses are already deciding to scale back or shut up shop for good. The knock-on impact on employment is unimaginably bad. We need decisive action from the government now to save the high street.”