2020 was a challenge for us all but no one more than our town centre businesses. The beating heart of our communities, our favourite pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, gyms and more are teetering on the brink of survival. Without them, our economy will struggle to #BounceBackBetter. We publicly call on the Government to do more.

The furlough scheme has cost £47bn with employees receiving 80% of their salary. Businesses need help too. We are calling on a pause of employer national insurance contributions for furloughed staff to help save our hospitality, leisure and retail sector.

We are calling on Government to extend the 100% #BusinessRatesHoliday for 2021-22 for Hospitality, Leisure and Retail to prevent significant closure of businesses and prevent economic disaster.

The reduction of VAT for hospitality from 20% to 5% allowed hospitality businesses the chance to pass on some of if not all that saving to the consumer. The Government need to extend that for 2021-22 – boosting survival chances for an industry struggling to survive.

This third lockdown will cause severe pressure, and irrevocable damage, on businesses many of whom have been under tough tier restrictions for several months. We appreciate that the Government has provided further financial support in the form of a one off grant but if the lockdown extends beyond mid February then businesses will need further support.

We have joined with many other Business Improvement Districts and businesses across the country to call on Government for additional support.

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