Brighton & Hove businesses are to be offered an emergency "recession relief" package to help them through the economic slow-down.
Brighton & Hove City Council has announced a list of measures designed to help hundreds of businesses with cash flow as the credit crunch tightens including: -
- paying small businesses for goods and services within 10 days of receiving their invoice;
- offering small businesses that occupy Council owned premises the opportunity to pay their rent monthly, as opposed to quarterly in advance. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis but should offer some relief to businesses that struggle to support the demands of the traditional payments of three months in advance.
- offering small businesses the opportunity to pay business rates in 12 annual instalments as opposed to the current 10
- funding more local business support clinics to advise businesses on dealing with the issues they are facing.
- creating a ‘taskforce’ - with representatives from the public and private sectors - to monitor and act on the crisis
- a summit meeting with the big bank’s area managers to elicit their support to help businesses.
Cllr Mears said: “The economic slowdown could have serious and damaging effects and I want to make sure the council takes a lead in protecting the city from the worst repercussions.
“From now on and for the foreseeable future everything we do will be done with the economy in mind so that if we can help boost business, while still providing excellent services, then we will do this.
“I am outlining a number of tangible actions the council intends to take to help alleviate this crisis and I am calling on any organisation that has the power to help the city’s economy to follow our lead.”
The Brighton & Hove Business Forum will be distributing a guide to surviving the recssion to 1000 of the most vulnerable businesses in the city.
BUSINESS FORUM COMMENT
As a public body the local authority is limited in its capacity to help businesses but these proactive proposals are both helpful and bold. What small businesses want is extra cash but only customers can give it. But this package of measures should help businesses to better manage the cash they already have.
Brighton & Hove is one of the largest property owning councils in the UK and making concessions for small business tenants in its own commercial stock sets an example that private landlords and institutions should follow.
This site reported earlier in the year the unsuccessful efforts of High Street retailers to get large commercial landlords to accept rent on a monthly basis (see earlier story). It seems that Brighton & Hove City Council has delivered what the big-guns of private property were reluctant to even consider.
Read related items on:
Brighton & Hove Business Forum
Brighton & Hove City Council