With over £7.2 million in council commercial rental income from the start of lockdown currently outstanding, business owners in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole who have missed payments to the council are invited to contact its newly incorporated discretionary panel for individual support.
BCP Council Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance, Drew Mellor said:
“We recognise the huge benefit and contribution that our vital Hospitality sector makes to our unique economy. I am determined that this new administration will support our economy so that across the board we can exit the pandemic in as strong a position as possible.
“In light of this, I have requested that a BCP Council discretionary panel be set up to work with our concessions who are struggling, we are keen to adopt a sensible, compassionate and flexible approach. Our message to business owners who may be struggling to meet their rental agreements is to come and talk with us.
“We will work with you on a case by case basis and consider your individual circumstances to help you pay what you can when you can through an appropriate payment plan.’’
During lockdown a Government funded 100% business rates discount was available to all businesses in the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality sector for the year 2020/21. In addition, BCP Council issued over £79 million in grant support to local eligible businesses through the Small Business and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant schemes. This funding was specifically aimed at helping businesses maintain cashflow and meet fixed property costs which included the rental payments on their properties. A further £4.3 million was also distributed in the form of Discretionary Grants for small businesses.
Councillor Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Economy, said:
“The array of support from government through the small business grant, business rate relief, coronavirus business interruption loan and furlough schemes have provided vital help to many of our tenants. However, with a difficult winter ahead, the amount of outstanding rental payment makes it clear to me that further support is urgently needed.
“We’re determined to support our local businesses, and I encourage local businesses leaders across all sectors to work with us to identify those areas most in need. At the same time, we’ll continue to advocate for further support from government.’’
For more information about available business support, please visit: bcpcouncil.gov.uk/COVID19Businessinfo
Businesses can approach the council via the contact details supplied in our regular tenant correspondences.