Sunderland Bid backs national call for Government to support vulnerable businesses amid Omicron fears

Sunderland Bid is urging the Government to help businesses hit by the latest coronavirus crisis.

Monday, 20th December 2021, 1:02 pm

The city’s Business Improvement District is backing a national campaign launched today, Monday, December 20.

The #BusinessBooster campaign has written to both PM Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak on behalf of more than 100 BIDS across the UK and 100,000 retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, with a list of support needed to help these industries survive.

#BusinessBooster has been launched by Croydon BID and says urgent measures need to be put in place in the face of growing concern the country may face another lockdown.

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The letter, from Croydon Bid chief executive Matthew Sims, says the critical Christmas trading period ‘is in tatters’ amid new fears over the Omicron covid variant, and businesses are teetering on the brink of financial ruin, with up to £4billion of sales lost nationwide.

“While we appreciate the risks to health due to the Omicron variant, we cannot and should not forget the businesses which have been all but shut down and want to continue to trade safely,” it says.

Measures outlined in the letter include a 100 per cent business rate relief for the first three months of 2022, followed by a 50% rate from April 1 to June 30.

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Sharon Appleby

It is also calling for a VAT reduction to 12.5 per cent for businesses in the most affected sectors as well as £15,000 grants to help them survive until business returns to normal.

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID is supporting the campaign and is now distributing the letter to MPs, councillors and council officers across the city.

“This is once again a very worrying time for industries that were previously hardest hit by the restrictions and are now facing uncertainty about what new rules might be introduced,” she said.

“While it is important that we do everything we can to keep people safe and well, it’s also vital for the local economy that the Government recognise what an impact a potential further lockdown could have.

The #BusinessBooster campaign is urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak (left) and PM Boris Johnson (right) to help businesses hit by the latest Covid restrictions

“We fully support this national campaign which asks the Government to act now and support vulnerable sectors to ensure they survive.”

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