19 September 2023
The chair of Westside Business Improvement District (BID) has reassured businesses, investors and the general public that Birmingham and Westside remain open for business, despite the city council's financial challenges.
Gerald Manton (pictured), chairman of Westside BID, was speaking in the wake of the Section 114 notice announced by Birmingham City Council, which effectively means the authority itself faces potential bankruptcy.
Mr Manton said: “I want to make it clear that recent developments concerning Birmingham City Council's financial status do not reflect the economic vitality or operational status of businesses within Westside or the broader Birmingham area.
“In short, Birmingham is very much open for business. It is crucial to understand that the challenges facing the city council are specific to the council itself and arise from an historic equal pay claim, rather than any form of mismanagement.
"This is an issue with the council only, and it is important to separate that from the thriving business community we have in Birmingham and here on Westside.”
Mr Manton also wanted to assure any businesses within Westside that may have concerns following the city council's announcement that Westside BID was there to help.
He said: “If any of our businesses are affected by the recent developments, rest assured that we are committed to providing the necessary support and resources to navigate these times."
Mr Manton also commended the city’s councillors and council officers for acknowledging the financial challenges they face.
He added: “It's commendable to see the council tacking these issues head-on. We’re still in choppy waters, but we are ready to collaborate and do whatever it takes to help the council overcome its current challenges.
“Birmingham and Westside continue to be vibrant areas for business and investment. The recent financial challenges of the city council are being addressed, and they do not impact the ongoing operations of Westside BID or the future prospects of businesses in the area.”