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Businesses in Hull city centre gave a warm welcome to the comprehensive package of support measures made available by the Humber LEP and its partners.

HullBID, which has worked throughout the crisis, used its network to deliver information and guidance to its membership of more than 700 in sectors including retail, hospitality and professional services.

As the city centre came back to life, employers endorsed the quality and quantity of messages which BID shared during the pandemic in its role as a key conduit.

Pictured: Kirk Akdemir, AA Global.

Kirk Akdemir, CEO of AA Global Language Services in King Edward Street and also owner of Tasty, a café at Hull Marina, congratulated HullBID on its efforts to keep businesses connected.

He said: “Our businesses operate in completely different sectors and because of that have faced different issues but the support from HullBID has enabled us to tackle things head-on.

“AA Global is very experienced in remote working but some staff have found it necessary to visit the offices and the work of HullBID and Humberside Police has helped to ensure they and the premises are safe. As the lockdown has eased Tasty has become very busy with people returning to work or just enjoying a walk round the Marina area, and the information supplied by HullBID on behalf of Humber LEP and Hull City Council has helped us prepare for that increase in business and welcome back our customers.

“We really appreciate the level of help that has been provided and we know from our business contacts in other towns and cities that it far exceeds the support and guidance available elsewhere in the UK.”

HullBID Executive Director Kathryn Shillito has worked closely with the Humber Economic Resilience Group, sharing the latest news on local and national business support initiatives with members and partnering with the City Council to provide advice for re-opening.

Alerts have ranged from information on grants and other sources of funding as the lockdown took effect to signposting services with guidance on such issues as leadership and mental health for employees working from home.

HullBID also shared details of a business reopening toolkit provided by Visit Hull and East Yorkshire and it was quick off the mark with guidance on how food and beverage businesses can register for the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

John Magee, Centre Manager at Princes Quay, said: “Tenants have told us that they have received more information from HullBID and Hull City Council than their counterparts have received in other areas. We’ve found it very useful because when our tenants have come to us with questions we have been able to refer to the information provided by HullBID to find the answers.”

Andy Steele, founder of 360 Accountants in Albion Street, said: “There were times when the government was sending out more than one announcement a day and HullBID was always on top of things, keeping people informed.

“They also played an important part in distributing signage, in buildings and in the street, to remind people about social distancing and washing hands. That helps to send out a strong message about Hull being open for business with nice, safe, spacious streets.”

Kathryn said: “From the outset, the Humber Economic Resilience Group has shared information and relayed experiences which has been very helpful. The Humber Growth Hub built a comprehensive, one-stop document listing all the support available to businesses – useful information and links to directly apply for grants and funding which HullBID has been able to share with our members.

“We continue to update our Covid-19 crib keeping businesses in tune, particularly with any changes in legislation.”

To view the latest crib sheet and see all the information and support available please visit https://www.hullbid.co.uk/features/covid-19-support