Manchester supports riot-hit businesses

Manchester City Council is contacting businesses affected by the riots earlier in August and offering support through a new scheme, ahead of a celebratory day in city.

The council said its High Street support package includes scope to reduce business rates temporarily for riot-affected businesses, whatever the size.

The council added that further help is available to small and medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 250 employees worldwide and an annual turnover of less than £11.2m.

This includes helping to meet the cost of repairs and recovery, and marketing to help attract customers back into the city centre. Some businesses may also be eligible for grants of up to £2,500 or loans.

In addition, the council said claims can be made by groups of businesses to support the recovery of a commercial district and these do not necessarily have to be small or medium-sized enterprises.

The scheme is not intended to replace other claims against business insurance or the Riot Damages Act, the council added.

Support is available both for businesses which were damaged in the disturbances and those whose trade suffered in the aftermath.

Among the costs which the funding can contribute towards are temporary accommodation, non-recoverable insurance excesses and clean-up costs.

The announcement was made before a campaign, known as We Love MCR day, takes place on Friday 26 August.

Vaughan Allen, chief executive of CityCo, Manchester's city centre management company, said: "It's great to have this support for businesses in the city centre. Our team has visited nearly 300 businesses offering reassurance and the opportunity to speak to senior police officers. In return hundreds of businesses are showing their support for the I Love Manchester campaign by creating special offers to encourage people to shop."

Organisations that have announced their support for We Love MCR day include Frog & Bucket, which has pulled together a special Manchester comedy line-up; Bruntwood, which is dressing many of its buildings, with 'I Love MCR' branding; Manchester City and Manchester United football clubs, whose teams have worn 'I Love MCR' t-shirts in training; and Manchester Pride, which will be handing out flags in support during the Manchester Pride Parade on Saturday.

On Friday, Exchange Square will be the focus of the We Love MCR day activity, with performances taking place on stage from 4pm-6pm, including the Reclaim group performing their Manchester song and a local steel band.

Marketing Manchester added that 800 balloons will be released from Exchange Square at 5.30pm carrying messages of love for the city, highlighting people's favourite things to see and do in Manchester.

Lucy Thorniley, owner of Northern Flower florist shop on Tib Street, said: "The I Love Manchester campaign with free Metrolink and suspended street parking last weekend has really helped get us back on our feet. The business community has really come together to turn things around and this is fantastic."

Manchester City Council is encouraging business to respond as early as possible to the High Street support scheme so applications can be processed. The closing date for applications is 4pm on Friday 30 September.

Claims can be made via the council's website or using a form which has been provided to businesses.

The council, working in partnership with Marketing Manchester and the Manchester Arndale, is also driving the I Love MCR campaign.

  • For further information business owners can call 0161 234 1103

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