Reviving Birmingham’s economy
Businesses and residents across the city are being invited to give their views on a consultation focusing on the recovery of Birmingham’s economy.
Birmingham City Council has opened its Economic Recovery Strategy for public consultation.
The strategy aims to look at the best ways to support the economy as the city recovers from the COVID-19 impact and adapts to changing conditions, including the challenges of leaving the European Union. It sits alongside the plans set out by the Combined Authority and the Local Enterprise Partnership.
Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
“COVID-19 continues to have a serious impact on Birmingham’s economy and, while we appreciate that pandemic is still with us, it's absolutely vital that we work now towards the recovery.
"We need an inclusive, green and fair recovery and everything we do now must focus on the protection of our economy, businesses and communities.
“So I would like to encourage as many people as possible to make sure that they provide feedback on these plans, so that we can bounce back together, making sure no community is left behind."
The strategy outlines the Council’s overall priorities for the recovery which are:
- Place development and management
- Green recovery
- Supporting people and businesses – with a focus on protecting jobs and helping people find training and work
- Unlocking and accelerating
Councillor Ward added:
“We need to focus on the additional things we can do to help support our city economy over the next two years. We will develop and implement plans to respond to the impact of Brexit alongside the wider economic shock.”
The council will work with key partners including the West Midlands Combined Authority, GBSLEP and the Core Cities network to develop the strategy and support businesses to address any emerging challenges.
The Council has begun work on major planned projects which will support wider recovery of the economy, like bringing forward major development site projects such as the next phases for the Smithfield project and the Route 2 Zero initiative.
The pandemic has impacted on business communities and the way they can operate nationally with establishments having to close in addition to running under restricted measures. At the end of July 2020, around 155,200 Birmingham workers have been furloughed. The latest ONS Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey, estimates that 2.8% of businesses nationally have ceased trading permanently. Birmingham is the local authority with the highest number of furloughed employees and many of these workers may be vulnerable to unemployment as the scheme is phased out in October 2020.
As part of its measures to support business communities, Birmingham City Council has been working to issue Small Business Grants and Discretionary Grant payments to businesses that have been affected. To date the Council has processed over £217.5million to more than 18,00 businesses eligible for the Small Business Grants. The teams are finalising processing Discretionary Grant having so far paid out in excess of £9.8million to 1,707 businesses.
Development of the strategy will follow a list of core principles throughout its progression. This includes maximising opportunities for jobs and skills provided by existing and planned projects.
The consultation can be found online at: https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/economy/economic-recovery-strategy-consultation/