Saffron Walden BID responds to Chancellor's 2021 Budget

Julie Redfern, deputy chair of Saffron Walden BID, and Shara Vickers, the chair of Saffron Walden BID, on a video call...

Julie Redfern, deputy chair of Saffron Walden BID, and Shara Vickers, the chair of Saffron Walden BID, on a video call discussing the Chancellor's Budget and how it will impact businesses in Saffron Walden - Credit: Saffron Walden BID

Members of Saffron Walden BID have reacted to the Chancellor's 2021 Budget announcement.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak outside 11 Downing Street

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak - Credit: Press Association

Julie Redfern, deputy chair of BID, and owner of Beauty Box in the town, said this year's Budget was good news for hospitality with its continuation of the five percent VAT cut, but not so good for other sectors.

She said flexi-furlough carrying on to September will help to protect jobs.

Shara Vickers, the chair of BID and director of Tela Ltd, said she felt the business rates holiday continuing will be a huge relief for many town businesses who pay high rates, and the restart grants and reopening grants would help.

The video of Julie and Shara talking about the impact of the Budget is available here

Ahead of the Budget, six town centre business owners were filmed having a discussion on Zoom about current issues with Shara and Julie. That video is available via Saffron Walden Business Improvement District's Facebook page.

They have published a manifesto document which was shared with MP Kemi Badenoch. 

They wanted the Chancellor to provide immediate stability by extending the VAT cut at five percent by another year and to more sectors; extend the business rates holiday by another year; protect jobs through flexi-furlough; reform business rates and introduce a fair sales tax.

They also wanted to help lift the burden off tenants by providing assistance for part of the rent through landlords; and to directly invest in the community through BID. They estimated that a modest grant could help create a clean and safe outdoor dining area for all restaurants to use in the hospitality sector.

Responding to their concerns, Kemi Badenoch said she was grateful to have received the manifesto, and welcomed the Budget.

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“Last week’s Budget provides businesses and families across the Saffron Walden constituency with the support and reassurance they need for the months ahead.

“With £407 billion of support for families, jobs and businesses, it is right that the Chancellor is honest with the British people about our public finances."

Mrs Badenoch added: "As local MP and Treasury Minister I am pleased the Government continues to deliver on what support we require locally.”