Prime Minister David Cameron has unveiled a raft of measures aimed at getting businesses back on their feet following nationwide riots, in a speech to parliament today.
The period in which businesses can claim for compensation after a riot attack has been increased to 42 days from the previous 14, and some leeway has been allowed on tax payments on those affected.
Local councils are to be given the ability to offer business rates relief for affected premises and the liability for council tax and business rates on the worst affected premises will be stopped.
Cameron said: “I give the people affected this promise: We will help you repair the damage, get your businesses back up and running; and support your communities.
“On repairing the damages, I can confirm that any individual, homeowner or business that has suffered damage to or loss of their buildings or property as a result of rioting, can seek compensation under the Riot Damages Act, even if uninsured.”
He confirmed that a fund of £10 million is to be put aside to help fund repairs to shops and businesses and there will also be another £20 million invested in a high street support scheme.
Restrictive and unnecessary planning procedures will also be removed to help businesses with repairs, with the Prime Minister highlighting regulations which make it difficult to install security shutters as one such measure which will be scrapped.
Responding to today’s announcement, Association of Convenience Stores Chairman James Lowman thanked the government for listening to the concerns of small businesses.
“We called for the extension for claims under the Riot Damages Act from 14 to 42 days in meetings and discussions with the Home Secretary and Business Secretary this week,” Lowman commented.
“We are grateful they have listened and have taken this practical step. We welcome the fund to support high streets, and the further funding to help repair communities. Retailers have to be at the heart of rebuilding the communities they serve.”