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Council offers help to riot hit businesses

Reduced business rates and grants available

Written by . Published on August 25th 2011.


Council offers help to riot hit businesses

MANCHESTER City Council is writing to businesses affected by the riots outlining the support available to them.

The council's High Street Support Scheme includes scope to reduce business rates temporarily for riot-affected businesses, whatever their size.

"Hundreds of businesses are showing their support for the I Love Manchester campaign by creating special offers to encourage people to shop."

Further help is available to small and medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 250 employees worldwide and an annual turnover of less than £11.2m. This includes helping to meet the cost of repairs and recovery, and marketing to help attract customers back into the city centre.

Some businesses may also be eligible for grants of up to £2,500 or loans.

In addition, claims can be made by groups of businesses to support the recovery of a commercial district, and these do not necessarily have to small or medium-sized enterprises.

The scheme is not intended to replace other claims against business insurance or the Riot Damages Act.

Support is available both for businesses which were physically damaged in the disturbances and those whose trade suffered in the aftermath.

Among the costs which the funding can contribute towards are temporary accommodation, non-recoverable insurance excesses and clean-up costs.

Councillor Jeff Smith, executive member for Finance and Human Resources for Manchester City Council, said: "Manchester is a city which always takes a pragmatic approach to encouraging business and job creation and we always try to do what we can to support their needs.

"This is more important than ever in the wake of the Tuesday 9 August riots which had an impact on many city centre businesses. As well as highlighting the range of support available, the council are also taking our own steps to give a helping hand to affected businesses."

Vaughan Allen, chief executive of CityCo, Manchester’s city centre management company said: "It’s great to have this support for businesses in the city centre. Our team has visited nearly 300 businesses offering reassurance and the opportunity to speak to senior police officers. In return hundreds of businesses are showing their support for the I Love Manchester campaign by creating special offers to encourage people to shop."

Lucy Thorniley, owner of Northern Flower florist shop on Tib Street, said: "This kind of support is really welcome. There are a lot of businesses like mine who weren’t affected directly on the night but suffered from a loss of trade in the days following. The I Love Manchester campaign with free Metrolink and suspended street parking last weekend has really helped get us back on our feet. The business community has really come together to turn things around and this is fantastic."

Although the closing date for applications is 4pm on Friday 30 September, affected businesses are encouraged to respond earlier so applications can be processed as quickly as possible.

Claims can be made via the council’s website or using a form which has been provided to businesses.

The council, working in partnership with Marketing Manchester and the Manchester Arndale, is also driving the I Love MCR campaign to demonstrate pride in our city and encourage people to shop, eat, drink and socialise in the city centre.

For further information business owners can visit www.manchester.gov.uk/helpinghands or call (0161) 2341103 where our business rates team can direct them to additional business support where appropriate.

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IzzyAugust 25th 2011.

It's a nice idea, just a couple of points. Will the reduced rates payable be recovered at a later date? It says grants and loans are available, does this mean they are to be paid back too?

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