What the BID did during lockdown
Cheltenham BID stepped in to help Cheltenham Borough Council be one of the first Local Authorities to pay eligible businesses their grants during the coronavirus epidemic.
The BID was able to help by contacting more than 100 businesses to ensure they completed documents needed by the council to make the payments.
After representations from Cheltenham BID, Cheltenham Borough Council leader Steve Jordan called on commercial landlords to work with tenants to make new rent arrangements as the impact of COVID-19 bites in so many ways.
The BID helped businesses access information on The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furloughing) and helped some to draft letters to their employees.
We also supported the #RaiseTheBar campaign, asking central Government to expand the rateable value threshold for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses from £51,000 to any business with a rateable value up to and including £150,000, allowing businesses the opportunity to access the £25,000 grant in order to survive. The BID was successful in helping some businesses that wouldn’t have received a Government grant otherwise.
What are the main concerns for Cheltenham businesses as they tackle the impact of the coronavirus? What funding and support is there to help them and what further help do they need?
It was questions like these that inspired Cheltenham BID to hold its first video conference call and subsequently a further six for our businesses. The calls hosted many sector professionals including Environmental Health leaders, licensed venue consultants and business management expertise. We created three focused guides during lockdown, helping businesses of all kinds prepare for reopening. The guides were: First Steps to Getting Your Business Ready; Health and Safety Essentials and Top Marketing Tips. These guides are still relevant and available on our website.