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Hitchin Town Centre Businesses 

The Chancellors Budget & Eat Alfresco 

Today the Chancellor set out his budget and explained how the Government will be supporting businesses over the coming months. I have set out the relevant points for your information. If you have any questions on these please email me –

Business Support

Incentives for businesses to take on apprentices to rise to £3,000.
Lower VAT rate for hospitality businesses to be maintained at 5% rate until September. An interim 12.5% rate will then apply for the following six months.
Business rates holiday for businesses in England to continue until June with 75% discount after that.

Furlough to be extended until the end of September 2021.
Government to continue paying 80% of employees' wages for hours they cannot work.
Employers to be asked to contribute 10% in July and 20% in August and September
Support for the self-employed also to be extended until September.
Minimum wage to increase to £8.91 an hour from April.

£5bn in Restart grants for shops and other businesses in England forced to close.

Up to £6,000 per premises for non-essential businesses due to re-open in April
Up to £18,000 for gyms, personal care providers and other hospitality and leisure businesses


No changes to rates of income tax, national insurance, or VAT.
Personal income tax allowance to be frozen at £12,570 from April 2022 to 2026.
Higher rate income tax threshold to be frozen at £50,270 from 2022 to 2026.
Corporation tax on company profits to rise from 19% to 25% in April 2023.

Hitchin Eat Alfresco
We are launching the popular Hitchin Eat Alfresco from 12th April on the Market Place. This is exclusively available for Hitchin town centre businesses and will run Monday to Friday 10am to 9pm. To ensure we are able to offer this opportunity to as many businesses as possible, slots will be given for 2 weeks at a time. We are also going to allow businesses to cook food on the Market Place to serve to seated customers. Please CLICK HERE to download the booking form. If you have any further questions, please contact
We are also working with NHDC and Hitchin Markets to offer space in Bancroft Gardens and the riverside. If you are interested in these alternative locations please email

Outdoor dining
Businesses unable to take a slot on the Market Place for the Eat Alfresco, we are happy to help you apply for a pavement licence to serve customers on the pavement or bays. We are also working with Hitchin Market to make use of the riverside for outdoor dining and other open spaces around the town. Please email for more information
Social Media
We will be starting our reopening campaign soon and are looking for as many businesses as possible to come forward with posts, pictures and stories about reopening your doors to the public. Please send them in to
Hand Sanitisers, Face Masks & Floor Stickers  
We have plenty of equipment available to ensure you and your staff are as safe as possible while trading in the town centre. The Information Centre is open Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 4:30pm for you to come and collect reopening packs and extra products. Please call 07540706832 or email   

Reopening packs – Posters, 10 masks, 500ml hand sanitiser & wipes - £10
Hand Sanitiser 500ml 70% Alcohol - £5
External social distancing floor stickers - £2
Cotton washable facemasks - £25 (pack of 50)
Anti-bacterial wipes - £3