BID chairman calls for urgent action on business rates relief

The chairman of the Plymouth City Centre Company, Nigel Godefroy, has called for an urgent announcement on the extension of business rates relief and other support measures to help city centre businesses survive.

In a letter to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, Mr Godefroy says businesses need to be able to plan their way out of the pandemic and need to know urgently what the government’s plans are for business rates after March 31.

Mr Godefroy has also asked for an extension of the government’s job retention scheme and the reduction in VAT for hospitality businesses.

He said: “Along with other business organisations we don’t think this can wait until the budget on March 3. Businesses need to know now whether support will be extended beyond the current deadlines, so they can plan for the next financial year.”

Footfall in the city centre declined by 45 per cent last year due to  COVID lockdowns and a number of businesses closed for good.

Mr Godefroy said that, without further support, more casualties were inevitable.

The letter can be viewed below.