To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to support markets during the covid-19 lockdown; and what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the National Association of British Market Authorities on identifying their needs during that time.
15 May 2020
Retail markets are part of the fabric of towns and cities across the country. With the current closure of outdoor and indoor markets, with the exception of market stalls which offer essential retail, such as grocery and food, Government has been working with key stakeholders in the retail markets industry to monitor the impacts of the current situation and explore what support is needed. This includes the National Association of British Market Authorities, with whom officials have active and ongoing engagement, including through the Retail Markets Forum on 4 May.
Self-employed market traders will be able to benefit from the support the Government announced on 26 March for the self-employed. The self-employed are eligible for a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 per month, through the coronavirus (Covid-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
Eligible market stalls with a rateable value will also benefit from flat rate payments of £10,000 under the grant scheme for the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors announced on 17 March 2020.
On 1 May 2020 the Business Secretary announced that a further up to £617 million is being made available to Local Authorities in England to allow them to provide discretionary grants. This additional Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs but not liable for business rates or rates reliefs, including regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment.
We agree that retail markets will have an important role to play in helping the revival of high streets and town centres in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, and Government will continue to work with the retail markets industry to help facilitate this.