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Campaigners demand grant threshold be raised to £150k

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Open letter: Raise The Bar has written to the Government urging them to help pubs with rateable values up to £150,000
Open letter: Raise The Bar has written to the Government urging them to help pubs with rateable values up to £150,000

Related tags: Coronavirus

A new campaign has urged ministers to expand the rateable value threshold for pubs from £51,000 so they can access a grant to see them through the closure period.

As it stands, grants of up to £25,000 are available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value up to £51,000.

This has led to cross-sector criticism that larger businesses are being neglected.

Led by Croydon Business Improvement District (BID), the Raise The Bar​ campaign has written to Alok Sharma, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, urging for an increase up to and including £150,000. 

They also called for the Government to waive the state aid threshold for the next two years as the economy recovers.

The letter reads: “Whether these businesses are independent or operating from more than one location, we forget businesses of all sizes with a rateable value of £51,000 or more at our peril. 

“Feedback from them suggests that they are carrying significant stock losses and are still facing immediate cash flow challenges that wage subsidies will not address. 

“Many are not in a position to take on further debt or have serious misgivings about being able to survive the recovery and service loans.

“These are some of our most adaptable businesses and the economy will need them to stave off the threat of cessation, so that they can play their role in rejuvenating the economy and contributing to community wellbeing.”

Worth paying

Raise the Bar​ has been backed by The BID Foundation, British BIDs, Association of Town and City Management, UKHospitality, British Beer & Pub Association and Night Time Industries Association.

Croydon BID chief executive Matthew Sims said: “We acknowledge that by increasing the RHLG (Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant) threshold up to and including £150,000 will increase the burden on central and local government. 

“This is a price we believe is worth paying to ensure businesses are given the opportunity to become part of the greater push to mobilise our economy, rather than leaving premises empty, growing unemployment with or without the job retention scheme and sectors contracting across the board.”

The campaign will soon launch a petition to the Government for the general public to sign.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has reiterated calls for a special exemption for the 10,000 UK pubs with a rateable value over £51,000 to allow them to benefit from the grant scheme.

Related topics: UnitedWeStand, Legislation

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