BUSINESSES in Andover town centre will be given a six-month ‘holiday’ from paying their Business Improvement District (BID) levy, the leader of the borough council announced today (Wednesday).

Companies under obligation to pay the levy will not be required to do so until September 2020 at the very earliest.

Those who still wish to pay in advance, or in instalments ahead of September, will be able to although there is no legal requirement to do so.

All affected businesses will be contacted by the council shortly and provided with further details.

The news comes after the government announced a £350billion package in loans and other financial aid to protect them from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The news was shared via the leader of the borough council, Councillor Phil North’s Facebook page on Wednesday evening.

His statement read: “The government yesterday announced significant support for businesses affected by Covid-19. Following this announcement, I have today agreed, in consultation with fellow political group leaders, that Andover businesses due to pay the BID levy will not now have to pay anything until September 2020 at the earliest.

“If businesses want to pay in advance of that or in instalments then they are entitled to do so but we are not expecting any payment until at least September.

“The council will continue to transfer funding to the Andover BID in the interim period, so it can continue to support businesses in the town centre.

“The council will be writing to all businesses to notify them and provide further information.”