Covid-19 Outbreak : Small Business Support

A message to Otley Businesses from Otley Business Improvement District

(sent via our website, email, Facebook & Twitter accounts on 16/3/20):


Dear Otley BID Member

We know that the next few months will be extremely challenging for most of you, but please be aware that Otley Business Improvement District are here to help wherever we can.

Following last week’s Budget announcements, please see below a summary of benefits that you may be eligible for:

Small Business Rate Relief

The Government made announcements in the Budget on Wednesday to support small businesses in the leisure, hospitality and retail sectors. This included an extension of 100% Business Rate Relief to those premises with a rateable value up to £51,000.

Business Rates Pubs Discount

The government previously committed to introducing a £1,000 business rates discount for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 in England for one year from 1 April 2020. To further support pubs, in response to Covid-19 the discount for pubs will be increased to £5,000.

Small Business Grant

For businesses with a rateable value of up to £12,000 there will also be a £3,000 grant made available to help ease financial pressure in the short term. We are expecting Government to announce more details about how to claim this grant by the end of March 2020.

Here is a link to the full 2020 Budget Announcement.

Otley Business Improvement District Levy Invoice

We appreciate that any bill at this time is particularly unwelcome, and we have therefore taken the decision to extend the deadline in respect of your Otley BID Levy invoice from the 31st March to the 31st May 2020.

If you are concerned about paying any bills because of the recent drop in trade, we are here to help as best we can. Please contact us via

Kind regards,


Tom Hatley

Chair of Otley Business Improvement District

2 thoughts on “Covid-19 Outbreak : Small Business Support

  1. To whom it may concern.
    As small business over the road from your offices we were told about the small business grant that we could apply for from one of our customers. We were informed also by one of the other small businesses that you have deferred payment for the bid also. As we usually only deal with written information as my business partner does not have a computer it would have been nice to have been informed of these things. As a bid paying business I find this very disappointing and look forward to hearing back from you with an apology.

    • Hi Debra,

      I’m sorry you feel that we have not communicated with you, but we have been doing everything we can within the current restraints to keep our members updated.

      Obviously as we are all in lockdown our only option has been to communicate with our members electronically, as it is impossible to send out a postal letter to all our members from a home computer/printer (this would mean over 500 letters). However, as you have probably seen from our website, as soon as the lockdown was imposed we were updating our members via our website every 24 hours, as well as sending the same information out via email (to those businesses we have email addresses for) and via all our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter). The same information regarding financial support for businesses has also been widely communicated across the daily news media, as well as on the Government’s website and Leeds Council’s website.

      In reply to your questions regarding financial support:

      1. You are correct in that the BID Levy payment has been delayed, details of this can be found in our website post dated 16th March

      2. All financial support to businesses has also been communicated on our website in the 10 days between 16th and 26th March (see our summary post dated 26th March

      We appreciate that tensions are high at the moment, as all our directors also own businesses in the town and have been affected in some way by this unprecedented pandemic we all find ourselves in. This is a time when we all need to pull together to help one another. With this in mind we have also been urging fellow businesses to pass information between each other, and have asked that if we don’t have your email then please let us know so that we can update our records to help us keep you informed.

      Regarding other ways of keeping in touch, we regularly keep our website up to date so you can always find relevant information on here, also if you are on social media, I would highly recommend that you also follow us so that again you can keep in touch with what we are doing. Finally, as we no longer have a physical office location we always encourage businesses to get in touch if they are unsure about anything, or if you have any questions or ideas that you would like to put to us. Our email address is

      I am unsure which business you own, but if you could let me know, I can update our records with this email address (or a business email address if you prefer) so that you will receive regular updates as and when we send them out.

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Rachelle Atkin
      Otley BID Champion

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