Bill Addy - CEO Liverpool BID Company - LR2

Since the lockdown began, we’ve been talking to businesses daily, even hourly, whether they’re sending us emails, picking up the phone, or contacting us via social media. We’ve hosted meetings with different industry sectors, like hospitality and retail, to get an idea of the most pressing concerns for companies as well as provided business support guidance including Q&As and webinars, our next one is tomorrow, register here.

The Treasury might have announced a lot of support for firms, but the main, serious worry has been around the access to grants, and the timescale for local authorities to pass these onto businesses who have very real and serious concerns around cash flow.

We welcome the launch of the grant application portal by Liverpool City Council earlier this week. Liverpool has a vibrant business community and it’s vital that when this crisis is over, we don’t open our doors to discover vast swathes of them have disappeared.

We’ve been talking to Liverpool City Council, on behalf of business, to pass those concerns across and the need for clarity. We’ve also been passing them to national government, because while a lot of measures have been announced, it’s critical those benefits are passed quickly to companies and workers. We’re not relaxing that pressure and we’ll keep asking questions and pushing for that support to come quickly.

We are working hard to ensure BID Levy Payers and the wider businesses community get their voice heard during these unprecedented times. We continue to urge business to send us their concerns, which can be done in complete privacy. There is power in having a combined voice and while we have those channels to lobby those in government, locally, regionally and nationally, we’ll continue to get the help businesses need.

This week we issued a joint statement with Merseyside Police around the safety of business premises. There was some press coverage around the city centre crime, and we wanted to issue some comfort and guidance to businesses who are as worried about the physical security of their firms, as well as their financial security. We are working in partnership to make sure the city centre remain safe and operational for essential businesses, employees, customers and residents.

Every day, we’re having a video call with essential retailers, shopping centres, Merseyside Police, Liverpool City Council and other stakeholders within the city centre. We’re talking about any operational and safety issues, as well as flagging up any concerns and solving issues.

Liverpool BID Company has a dedicated police team, paid for through the BID Levy, which is continuing to patrol and keep areas safe and secure. There’s advice on our website about what to do to keep premises safe during this time, but rest assured there are patrols and security teams in the area daily even while you’re not there.

All business knows that while you are working in the present you also have to prepare for the future, and after the initial stage of setting up systems to compile and disseminate information, we’re starting to think about recovery and what business might need in the coming weeks and months.

We’re delighted to be working with Crowdfunder on the campaign Pay It Forward. It’s making it easier for busineses to collect funds from customers for services to be used at a later date. There are no fees for business, you get 100% of the funds collected.

We’ve also secured free access to the platform Maybe*. So if your business needs to improve how it engages with audiences through social media you can check your numbers and insights.

It still feels like we have a long way to go, and there isn’t a single business, whatever its size, that we’ve spoken to who isn’t affected in some way by this current crisis. Our advice is to focus on your own business in the best way you can, if you need help, advice, guidance or just someone to listen to your concerns, our digital door is always open. We’re here to help you weather this storm.

Bill Addy
Chief Executive
Liverpool BID Company

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