To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to provide financial support to Business Improvement Districts that have waived their levy to support local businesses during the covid-19 outbreak.
Given the significant role that Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) play in town centre management and regeneration, they will have a significant role in the recovery phase.
The emergency Coronavirus Act enables BIDs to delay ballots between now and 31 December 2020, extending the BID arrangements until 31 March 2021. This will allow businesses to focus on recovery from economic shock before deciding whether to participate in BID arrangements for the following five-year period.
This will support BIDs approaching their ballot in the next few months, allowing them to reprioritise their work and support the communities during this critical time. It is a proportionate response which balances the need to address the immediate crisis while also ensuring businesses are not denied the right to vote in these ballots for an extended period.
We are exploring ways we can support BIDs directly, and businesses can also benefit from the substantial package of support announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer.