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News - 4 October 2013

Cutting red tape helps small shops and local traders

The Department for Communities and Local Government has ended the cumbersome red tape which made it harder for local firms and traders to set up business improvement districts where high streets stretch across council boundaries.

This is part of the Government initiative to help businesses by reducing the amount of local and national interference and intervention.

The changes, which come into force on 7 October 2013 mean that business improvement districts will no longer need separate ballots in each authority where a business improvement district crosses with another local authorities’ boundaries is proposed. Instead there will be a single ballot for the entire area.

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS comments:
“The potential for business improvement districts to successfully support town centres’ growth was outlined by Mary Portas in her “Review of the High Street” but it is an approach that has proved successful in towns and cities across the world.”

There are currently over 150 business improvement districts across the UK working on issues such as town centre safety, improvement of public realm, support for local traders and parking initiatives.

Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk said:
“This government is setting business free from red tape to the tune of over £212 million a year so local traders can generate the kind of enterprise that is vital to our economic growth.”
The role of business improvement districts in rejuvenating high streets is being tested by some of the Portas Pilots such as Bedford, Loughborough, Bedminster and Lowestoft.

The business improvement district in Loughborough is working to improve the trading environment in the town and particularly to improve the attractiveness of the high street. The ‘Love Loughborough’ Partnership has put in place projects such as the “Trial a Trade” scheme for new businesses and a loyalty card scheme for 1400 university and college students. They have invested in hanging baskets, offered free business recycling and negotiated free parking on Sundays.

For a more personal approach, those considering setting up a business contact us at ABDS to offer help and support on a range of issues, including keeping records, VAT registration, National Insurance, starting up a limited company, and PAYE Real Time Information.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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