Bournemouth Coastal BID says time is running out for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and is urging the government for more clarity and assistance.
The BID is backing the national #RaiseTheBar campaign, which has now written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak asking him to amend the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG).
The letter was sent following the Prime Minister’s announcement on May 10, which it says left the sectors ‘unsure’ about how the government was intending to support them during the extended period of closure.
The #RaiseTheBar initiative is calling for ministers to expand the rateable value threshold for the RHLG from £51,000 to £150,000.
This would allow further businesses the opportunity to access the £25,000 grant.
It would also, the letter states, allow the Chancellor to honour the pledge he made on March 17 when he promised he would provide ‘the tools’ for every citizen to ‘get through this’.
Paul Clarke, chairman of the Bournemouth Coastal BID, said: “The Raise the Bar campaign is crucial if the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to get through this.
“In our area – from Tuckton to Westbourne – the summer months are when businesses make most of their money.
“Without clarity and extra assistance from the government we could see many of them going under.
“The Raise the Bar campaign has significant cross-party support, is backed by industry leaders, 95 Business Improvement Districts and the Change.org petition has more than 12,000 signatures so far.”
The campaign says the cost of amending the RHLG – assuming all 54,638 businesses applied for it – is calculated at £1.365 billion.
Paul added: “The cost of £1.365bn is small in the great scheme of things and it could save many companies from going out of business.
“This would lead to many job losses and would have a big impact on the local economy.”
The BID’s ‘villages’ are Tuckton, Pokesdown, Southbourne, Boscombe, East Cliff & West Cliff, Seafront and Westbourne.