As a result of the disturbances that have taken place in the City Centre and other areas of Birmingham, we will be working with partner agencies to provide practical advice and support to those local businesses affected by the recent events.
Over the past few days, the situation has improved however, the police will continue to maintain a significant presence on our streets to reassure local communities and businesses.
We have been working closely with the police and partner agencies to get the city streets back to normal and have cleared debris from the City Centre and other highway locations, and as such all roads leading into the City are now open and public transport is operating as normal. We want to ensure that it is business as usual in Birmingham.
Support for businesses
Support and advice is available to help affected businesses back on their feet as quickly as possible. We have listed some helpful points below:
West Midlands Police urge you to contact them immediately to report any related incidents of crime not yet reported. This will enable you to obtain a crime number to support your insurance claims and also to enable the Police to fully assess the extent of the disorder. You will be allocated a crime number on the basis of one per business rather than one generic crime report for the whole incident. Make sure however that you report any incidents to your insurance provider without delay.
If you have business insurance, contact your business insurance provider to check what you are covered for.
If you require further information with regards to insurance issues contact the Association of British Insurers on 0207 600 3333 or at www.abi.org.uk
If you do not have business insurance, you may be able to claim for compensation by notifying your local police authority within 42 days.
Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs has announced that it will delay tax payments for businesses needing help through ‘Time to Pay’ and will offer other practical support – contact Civil Disorder helpline number on 0845 366 1207 for detailed advice.
Banks are putting in place special arrangements to make sure that emergency enquiries from affected customers can be dealt with simply and quickly. Please contact your bank for details.
The Government has also announced a package of support including: £20m High Street Support Scheme
The flexible scheme will be aimed at supporting the specific streets and areas where businesses have suffered most as a result of the disturbances.
The Support Scheme can be used to fund hardship relief from business rates and to help affected firms to get back up and running quickly, for instance if assistance is needed with business clear-up, replacement of equipment, or costs of temporary accommodation.
Seriously damaged business properties will be taken off valuation lists, and the Secretary of State for Communities has strongly encouraged the Valuation Office Agency to do so as promptly as possible. This removes any liability for council tax or business rates.
Access to Finance
The Government is working closely with the British Bankers Association to ensure that affected businesses of all sizes, but especially small businesses, receive help.
Where businesses have been affected by the recent rioting, banks have put in place special arrangements to make sure that emergency enquiries from affected customers can be dealt with simply and quickly.
Banks have put in place numbers for customers to call, teams are available inside the banks to help and business relationship managers are getting in contact.
The banks will sympathetically and sensitively consider the problems of each business. Additional financial support will be available should it be required to provide solutions for the affected businesses.
These include for example, where necessary making available short to medium term finance arrangements for repairs and to replace stock, and repayment holidays until insurance claims are settled.
For further information on all these points visit the Department for Business Innovation and Skills website on www.bis.gov.uk. The council is also looking at support through the Planning process for those businesses which require new shop fronts. Further details will be announced as they become available.
Birmingham City Council and its partners are committed to providing ongoing support to those affected and will be producing a series of further bulletins to ensure that you are kept fully informed of what support and help is available.
Further information will also be available on the Birmingham City Council website www.birmingham.gov.uk or by contacting your Business Improvement District Manager or Town Centre Manager. Alternatively, you can contact the City Council’s Business Recovery Team on 0121 303 3150.
Birmingham City Council