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: https://www.kentandmedwaygrowthhub.org.uk/
- 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!
Chief Executive - Tunbridge Wells Together
email@example.com / 07808 646 758