Tunbridge Wells Together - 31.3.2020

Town Centre Update

Good afternoon,

I hope you, your families and teams are keeping healthy. Thank you for the many positive comments and feedback we have had from levy payers about these updates and our communications. We're doing our best to keep in touch. The easiest way is via our Whats App group - the link is at the bottom of this newsletter. Approx. 40 have joined so far and keep in touch with what's happening in the town, but also benefit from peer to peer support.

BID Levy Payments
They say timing is everything, well boy was our timing off! Our BID levy invoices were posted out the week before the government ordered the shut down, and they landed on your doorsteps just as you closed your business. Thank you to those who have already paid it. For those who haven't, and are concerned about cash flow, please be assured we will not be chasing payments during the shut down, and there will be no financial or legal penalties for delaying your payment.

A few levy payers have asked why we haven't cancelled the levy or offered a 'holiday' like the government have with business rates. Simply put, the levy is a charge calculated on your premises rateable value, not the business rates themselves, and as such the government has not amended BID legislation allowing us to defer, cancel or discount the levy. Business rates are also collected locally but spent nationally, whereas the levy (which is an annual fee) not only covers the whole year but also is only spent locally. We are working hard to do as much as we can during the shut down, but more importantly we are busy planning marketing campaigns, town centre events, and business support services to invigorate the town and get is back to normal trading as quickly as possible.

We are, however, continuing to lobby government to amend BID legislation to allow us greater flexibility either this year, or next, to amend our levy fees in recognition of this very difficult trading environment. We will keep you updated.

'Open For Business' updates
From tomorrow we will be posting on our social media updates on which businesses are still open, their opening hours, and customer offers. If your business is still trading, either bricks and mortar (as an essential business) or online, please let us know and we can promote your activities. With over 700 levy payers is not easy to keep up to date with everyone's trading status, so let us know what you're doing and we can direct customers to you.

Business Support from Tunbridge Wells Council
  • You can access support for your business via the new Kent & Medway Growth Hub Advice Line which is being part-funded by the council. For more information please visit:
  • You can also find of wealth of advice and information on the councils businesses pages, which can be accessed here
  • If you haven't done so already, you should be receiving letters from the council shortly about business rates holidays and grants. They have been posted and are on their way!
The Tunbridge Wells Together team are all now home-based. However, we are still working and can be contacted via 07808 646 758; we are ready to provide as much help and support as we can. Finally, please remember to stay active on your social media channels so your customers can keep up to date with your activities. Please include the tags #twshoplocal and #twdelivers (if you offer home delivery) and we will share them on our sites too. Stay healthy! 
Ross Feeney
Chief Executive - Tunbridge Wells Together  /  07808 646 758
Business Support 'Crib Sheet'
There is lots of information and advice online to help your business. To help you quickly understand what help is available for your business, you and your employees we have created an easy to ready crib sheet. We hope you find it useful; we will be updating it each week and reposting it, so its always up to date.
To download Click Here
Business Q & A Session - Submit Your Questions

Following last week’s announcements on the various support programmes for businesses, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council are planning to record a Covid-19 question and answer session for businesses, with William Benson and Sheila Coburn from TWBC, Greg Clark MP and Ross Feeney from RTWT BID. The recording will take place on Friday 3 April at 10.30am and will be put on YouTube afterwards. 

If you have any questions you would like to ask, please submit them to us. These will need to be submitted (at the latest) by 4pm on Thursday 2 April and should be sent to the following email address: We will try to answer as many of the questions as we are able to during the recording.  The recording of the session will be available available on YouTube; we will send round the link once its been posted online
Easier Access to Govt. Grants
If you haven't already done so, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council are urging businesses to sign up for paperless online billing. Its quicker, cheaper and means the council can let you know more quickly about government grants when its time to claim. - Click Here 
Town Centre Whats App Group
To keep you up to date with the latest developments in this fast-moving crisis, we have set up a dedicated Whats App group. If you would like to join the group please CLICK HERE from your phone to join. 
 Helping You Keep Your Customers Updated
For food and home delivery businesses, we will be using our social media channels every day to let people know when your businesses are open. Email us each day with your updated opening hours, any special offers and social media accounts and we will promote them for you.

Twitter @rtwtogether @RoyalTWells
Insta @royaltunbridgewellstogether

Facebook - @tunbridgewellsofficial
Copyright © 2020 Royal Tunbridge Wells Together, All rights reserved.

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