Council backs the YorkMix #SupportAYorkBusiness campaign

Council leader Keith Aspden
9 Apr 2020 @ 1.16 pm
| Business

City of York Council is backing our campaign to support city businesses through this extremely challenging time.

Soon after the coronavirus emergency started taking hold, YorkMix launched free advertising on the site for businesses still operating.

Now York council is supporting the campaign as part of its programme of measures to help city businesses and protect jobs.

More than 150 York businesses have taken up the offer so far. You can browse and buy from all these firms in the directory here.

And any York business adhering to the government’s trading guidelines can add their own promotion by going here.

‘Fantastic businesses’

Bags of help for busiess

Council leader Keith Aspden said the authority was working with partners as the city came together in the face of the crisis.

“It is clear that these are unprecedented times and as a city, we must find our resolve and do everything we can to support those who need our help the most.

“As part of our response, we are supporting YorkMix’s campaign to support our fantastic local businesses and protect jobs.

“Our small and independent businesses are an integral part of our city’s character and our economy, worth £1bn and providing thousands of jobs. 

“That is why we are acting quickly to protect all businesses here in York.”

Local and national support

Cllr Aspden said that they have worked with partners to stand up for local businesses from the start of the crisis.

“We’ve successfully lobbied for government support for York’s 12000 self-employed residents, and continue to seek improvements to allow local businesses to access government-backed business loans.

“We’re working hard to make sure the city’s businesses receive £110m of government support as quickly as possible. This means creating new processes to deliver large amounts of money within a couple of weeks.

“We have already amended over 4,000 rates accounts to stop payments being taken from qualifying businesses, deferred rent for all our commercial tenants and have begun distributing £44 million of grants to around 3500 local businesses.

“But there are many businesses who don’t qualify for that support, so we’re launching our own £1m small and micro business grants fund. 

“It will deliver grants of up to £1000 to 1000 self-employed, micro and small businesses who need it most. It will help businesses facing hardship to adapt to new business models, like getting online and setting up deliveries.”

The council recognises that small businesses need specialist support and services in these uncertain times. “So we’ve also set up a fund to give up to 1,000 businesses free membership of the Federation of Small Businesses,” Cllr Aspden said.

Membership gives each business access to a range of services, covering everything from legal and advice to cyber protection and insurance.

With things changing at considerable pace, reliable information is key. The council is providing businesses with up-to-date guidance through their regular bulletin “and I would encourage our business community to visit: www.york.gov.uk/BusinessSupport“.

Emergency fund for residents

“Of course, the outbreak of coronavirus has affected all residents across the city in one way or another, and that is why we have created a second emergency fund totalling £1.25 million – specifically to support local residents who have seen their personal finances significantly and negatively affected by the outbreak,” Cllr Aspden said,.

“We have been encouraged but not surprised to see the very best of York and I would like to thank residents and communities for their efforts.

“To date, we have had nearly 3,000 volunteers register to support vulnerable residents and aid the work of our community hubs, including packaging food parcels. 

“If you want to volunteer and provide support to where it is most needed, please visit https://www.york.gov.uk/form/VolunteeringCoronavirus.

“Lastly, we know that the current situation is not easy and can present difficulties for residents and businesses. If you do not have any access to support, then please contact [email protected], or call 01904 551550 for assistance.”