KEIGHLEY businesses have been praised for the role they are playing in supporting the community during the current coronavirus crisis.

And a pledge has been issued that everything possible is being done to help those in the business sector struggling due to the impact of the emergency.

Paul Howard – manager of Keighley Business Improvement District (BID) – said that whilst some businesses had adapted to provide what services they could, many had been forced to take the “unimaginable steps” of closing their doors.

He said Keighley BID was working closely with the local authority to help business owners by providing advice, promotions and assistance with funding.

Mr Howard added: “We realise that this is a troubling time for everyone with the continued impact it is having on businesses, employers and employees.

“We’re incredibly proud of the way in which Keighley has handled this extraordinary situation and would like to thank all businesses for what they are doing to protect the health of our community.

“We’d also like to assure everybody that we’re doing everything we can to ensure that our unwavering support continues to all those businesses that need it.”

He said the Government had recognised the “pivotal” role BID schemes play in local economies and provided them with a three-month extension, together with additional funding to manage the crisis and give extra help to businesses.

“This gives us an opportunity to be more proactive and enact lasting change to Keighley town centre,” said Mr Howard.

But he warned that in many instances the funding didn’t go far enough, and Keighley BID – with other schemes across the country – has signed-up to the #RaiseTheBar campaign.

The initiative is calling on the Government to raise the rateable value threshold from £51,000 to £150,000 for thousands of shops, pubs, clubs, restaurants, hotels and leisure businesses so they can access the £25,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.

Bill Addy, chairman of the BID Foundation, said: “We cannot underestimate the importance of our retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and not just to what they bring to our economy, but the people that are employed within them.”

People can support the campaign at