However, when it comes to roadworks, pubs and other businesses on the high street are left high and dry, either getting no compensation at all, or having to jump through hoops or trapped in a bureaucratic hell of form filling with little hope in sight.
The idea that a business can be so badly affected seems ridiculous, but the Publican’s Morning Advertiser has spoken to licensees that have come close and, in some cases, have actually gone to the wall after road and street repairs decimated their operations.
That’s why we’ve teamed up with sister title, Convenience Store, to launch a joint campaign, Works Must Pay, to give businesses a voice to call for Government action on the issue.
It’s not acceptable for the highways authority, local councils or a utilities company, to dig up the street outside a business, cause huge disruption and offer nothing in return other than a sign at the end of the road saying “local businesses open as usual”. Some of these businesses are left losing thousands of pounds a week — and for some — the money lost can be too much to deal with.
There needs to be an automatic process of compensation for those affected, not a grudging eventual settlement for those that shout the loudest or are the most persistent.
We are calling on Government to change its policy so local businesses that are directly affected by road or utility maintenance get a proportionate business rate refund, or are adequately compensated by the utility companies.
As part of the campaign, we’re looking to hear your stories on how you’ve been affected by roadworks, so please do get in touch and share your views.