Update from Chief Executive, David Preston:
This morning I have taken part in the High Street Task Force Sector Leaders Webinar and forcibly made the point about markets and seeking clarity on what help and benefits are available for markets and market traders in these unprecedented times.
The point was made about business rates for local authorities and the discretion needed to provide the same benefits as private operators. The important issue I raised however was on the facts that many traders do not have business premises hence no grant; don’t employ staff and therefore no 80% of wage coverage and without a mandate to close are being subject to pressures from loss of customers and media. The point was stressed that many traders are mobile, working on daily licences and therefore fall out of the benefits announced and need urgent support.
The questions were answered by the Town Centre and High Streets Policy Team Leader in the Cities and Local Growth Unit. The Unit is a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
The Team Leader recognised that most information is taken through business rateable values but they are conscious that many micro business and market traders are invisible. They will therefore be looking at how to capture this information in terms of numbers, the financial loss and the solution. It was suggested that market operators may be prepared to help secure this information.
I have therefore invited the Team Leader to contact NABMA with their specific questions and we will do everything to try and assist the Unit at the earliest opportunity.
Graham Wilson has also been in contact with the Local Government Association this morning seeking similar information for markets. As that further information and answers become available we will inform NABMA members.
We are continuing to update our website https://nabma.com/covid-19-coronavirus/ and add content via Basecamp too.