Nine hundred businesses helped after disorder

By on 02/02/2012 in News

An estimated nine hundred businesses across Birmingham were helped by the city council following the summer disturbances.

A package of support worth £1.2million was put together which included a recovery fund, security improvement scheme, business rates hardship fund and business advisor support, under the umbrella of the government's high street support scheme (HSSS). The council will be claiming back the £1.2million from central government to cover the costs.

This was supported by the Backing Birmingham campaign designed to restore public confidence in the city centre and local high streets.

Councillor Timothy Huxtable, cabinet member for transport, environment and regeneration, said: “We listened closely to the concerns of businesses in the wake of the disorder and decided to add the security improvement scheme and business advisor programme to what was already being offered.  This was aimed at giving further help to those businesses whose trade had been badly affected even though they had not been directly attacked.”

Key elements of the support package were:

Recovery fund - provided grant assistance to damaged small and medium businesses to help them recover costs not covered by insurance
Businesses assisted: 23
Total of grants paid to SMEs (small and medium enterprises): £89,849
BIDs/Commercial districts assisted: 4
Total of grants paid to BIDs/Commercial districts: £101,083

Security improvement scheme - open to small and medium businesses located within the areas directly affected by the disorder. The scheme provided up to 75% of eligible costs up to £5,000 to fund security measures
Businesses assisted: 219
Total of grants awarded: £448,976

Business advisor support - advice on business plans, marketing strategies and access to finance. Events were held to generate awareness of help available through HSSS along with one-to-one support for more than 300 businesses
Total cost of business support: £104,447

Business rates hardship fund - a scheme specifically aimed at businesses affected by the disturbances
Businesses assisted: 68
Total of grants awarded: £95,310
HSSS grant claim amount: £23,827

Backing Birmingham - the programme was underpinned by this marketing campaign which included a free loyalty card (the B card) which gave residents special offers at participating independent businesses. More than 600 businesses across the city signed up
Cost – £447,150

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