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South Bank BID Statement on Coronavirus / Covid-19

post-image 16th March 2020

It’s clear that Coronavirus / Covid-19 is having a significant impact on London’s business community, and South Bank is no exception. We have spoken with a range of South Bank businesses to understand the impact that the virus is having on our levy payers and on the wider South Bank economy.

In addition to promoting the latest advice from Government and Public Health England, South Bank BID is focused on addressing the economic challenges on two fronts:

Mitigating the economic impact on South Bank businesses

In the recent budget, the Chancellor announced that shops, restaurants, pubs, and a range of other businesses with a rateable value below £51,000 will get 100% relief on business rates for the next financial year.  Whilst this is a welcome boost to many small businesses, it will only benefit a handful of businesses in South Bank.

Along with South Bank Employers’ Group, the delivery agent for South Bank BID, we are working with our two Members of Parliament, the Leaders and Chief Executives of Lambeth and Southwark Councils, and the Mayor of London’s team to ensure that the economic impact of Covid-19 on South Bank is fully understood, and addressed with the urgency that it warrants.

We are making a specific request on behalf of our levy payers – an urgent consideration for the provision of a “Hardship Fund” for those struggling businesses that have a rateable value above £51,000 and therefore won’t benefit from the 100% relief from business rates announced in the budget.  We know that the hospitality and retail sectors have been hit particularly hard, and we know that a fund of this nature can bring much needed relief at such a challenging time.

Preparing for recovery

We are also working closely with London & Partners – the Mayor of London’s trade, investment and promotion agency – as part of a London-wide response to Coronavirus. We will keep levy payers informed on how we plan to bring domestic and international visitors to London, when we are through the peak phase of the outbreak.

We will keep you advised on our communication channels as our response to Coronavirus develops, and in the meantime we welcome any feedback on how the outbreak is continuing to affect your business. We are keen to hear from you, so please do get in touch.

The situation with Coronavirus is moving at an extremely fast pace. We will endeavour to provide you with relevant updates on our work. We strongly advise following the Government’s official guidance on all aspects of the outbreak.

Yours,

Nic Durston

Chief Executive, South Bank Business Improvement District and South Bank Employers’ Group

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