Campaign to back York shops goes to Parliament

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In September the York BID joined a campaign to boost city centre retailing.

Love Yor-k High Street was designed to celebrate the wonderful York shopping experience – and to urge the government to help by reforming business rates.

We helped fund a special day which included a Minster FM roadshow in King’s Square, and lots of shops offering one-off discounts for the day.

As a result of that campaign, a petition demanding business rates reform gathered nearly 2,000 signatures.

The campaign was organised by Stephanie Green, store manager of Crabtree & Evelyn on Stonegate, and also involved the York Retail Forum, Indie York and others as well as the BID.

On the day of the Budget, Steph handed the petitions to York Central MP Rachael Maskell who presented them in Parliament the following day, ahead of a business debate.

Steph said: “We decided to have a celebration of retail in York. We got Minster FM involved, the York BID, York Retail Forum and others to celebrate retail.

“We had a big party and highlighted that shopping is wonderful, and that our city centre has so much to offer.”

‘A great start’

During the Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that business rates will be cut by one third for firms with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

“It is fantastic, a great start,” said Steph. “But it's a start, and certainly by no means the finish.

“We need to keep up the focus, because high streets need as much help as we can get.”

Rachael Maskell said: “I am proud to be taking this petition to Westminster on behalf of the people of York, and demanding that the Government urgently reforms our failing business rates system and creates a level playing field for all businesses.”

Executive director of York BID Andrew Lowson said: “The BID is dedicated to helping the wonderful York retail offer thrive.

“The response to Love Yor-k High Street was tremendous. The city needs to keep pulling together like this to ensure a prosperous future for our retailers.”

 

Photograph: Stephanie Green, store manager of Crabtree & Evelyn on Stonegate, hands over the petitions to Laura Outhart from Rachael Maskell's team

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