More Government financial help on the way for market traders — apply to your local authority

Dateline: Friday November 13th 15:00 hrs

MARKET traders in England affected by Lockdown 2 are encouraged to apply to their local authorities for financial help from the Government’s new Additional Restrictions Grant.

This ARG replaces the Local Authority Discretionary Fund grant available to some traders during the first lockdown.

Whilst the funding is being provided by central government it is clear application has to be made to the individual’s local authority, which will decide whether or not the application is accepted.

Crucially the guidance given to local authorities says that applications for grants should be considered from businesses that have not been legally forced to close but have been severely affected by the crisis.

Additionally the guidance suggests local authorities could choose to support businesses outside the business rates system — many market traders — who have been forced to close.

The Government has not issued a timescale on this scheme so it is necessary for would-be applicants to monitor their local authority’s website or make direct contact.

These are the main points of the guidance on the Additional Restrictions Grant provides to local authorities:

22. Local Authorities can determine how much funding to provide to businesses from the ARG funding provided, and exactly which businesses to target.

23. However, we encourage Local Authorities to develop discretionary grant schemes to help those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19. This could include – for example – businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector.

24. Local Authorities may also choose to help businesses outside the business rates system, which are effectively forced to close – for example market traders.

To check your eligibility for the ARG click here.

For general Government advice on eligibility for support click here.

Lockdown 2 regulations studied by NMTF and NABMA — an interpretation

Dateline: Friday November 6th 15:00 hrs

THE regulations for Lockdown 2 have been published and the NMTF and NABMA have worked together to interpret them in so far as they relate to markets and market traders.

To read the revised joint statement click here.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant extended

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

The grant will be increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November 2020.

Applications cannot be made until November 30th.

To read the Government’s policy paper and to check if you are eligible click here.

Lockdown returns to England Thursday — how will markets fare?

Click here to sign our petition to keep markets fully open

Dateline: Monday November 2nd 13:45 hrs

SINCE the Prime Minister announced the second national lockdown in England from Thursday November 5th the NMTF has been trying to discover how it will impact on indoor and outdoor retail markets.

At the moment we are assuming retail markets will be allowed to remain open to sell essential goods.

But the Government has made it clear supermarkets will once again  be able to sell a full range of goods — and we consider this to be an unlevel playing field.

In partnership with NABMA we have launched a petition on Change.org to demand that both indoor and outdoor retail markets should remain fully open to sell both essential and non-essential items.

The petition reads:

“Markets across the UK have been at the heart of our towns, cities and communities for centuries and have a proven track record in supplying local people with food and goods.

“As England enters another period of lockdown, we demand that the Government give markets parity with supermarkets in terms of the supply of essential and non-essential goods during this period. Markets should be allowed to remain fully open.

“Markets have demonstrated throughout 2020 that they are a safe and reliable source of goods for local and vulnerable people. They are a vital asset to the vibrancy and economy of local communities, and they should be allowed to remain fully open.”

Supporting letters have been sent to three Government ministers — Communities and Business Secretaries Robert Jenrick and Alok Sharma and High Streets and Markets Minister Kelly Tolhurst.

We hope to persuade Government before the relevant law is passed in Parliament on Wednesday.

The letters tell ministers:

NABMA (National Association of British Market Authorities) and the NMTF (National Market Traders Federation) feel strongly that the closure of all “non-essential businesses” is not equitable if supermarkets are allowed to remain open and sell the non-essential products.
We are therefore calling on the government to allow all retail markets in England to remain fully open.
Markets across the UK have been at the heart of our towns, cities and communities for centuries and have a proven track record in supplying local people with food and goods. Our industry is made up of some 1,200 traditional and specialist markets and approximately 40,000 businesses trade on these markets on a regular basis. Sadly, recent surveys have suggested that due to the impact of the pandemic, as many as 80% of traditional markets now fear for their future. A further lockdown will impact on the fragility of many such local markets.

Click here to read the full content of the letters:

Robert Jenrick  Alok Sharma  Kelly Tolhurst

 

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