City Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness has said new national lockdown measures will make trading exceptionally difficult – if not impossible – for many business.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced further financial support for businesses affected by these restrictions, including:
- One-off top-up grants to closed businesses, as follows:
- £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under;
- £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000;
- £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000;
- A further £594 million being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions.
The City of London Corporation said in a statement it is awaiting further information on when and how the new funding will be allocated, and how it sits alongside previously announced financial support. The authority will contact eligible businesses when this is available.
Ms McGuinness said “there is no denying” that hard months lie ahead, but welcomed the additional support outlined by the Chancellor.
She added: “Nonetheless some businesses in the Square Mile will struggle to make ends meet through the spring despite this announcement. The City Corporation will continue to press the Government for further support and seek to treat our own tenants considerately.
“In the meantime we urge all Londoners to comply with the new rules and until further notice to stay at home unless they have a ‘reasonable excuse’.
“With the vaccine rollout well under way, it is essential that we bring this dreadful virus under control right now so that London and the rest of the country can return to a semblance of normality as soon as possible.
“We urgently need our economy to thrive to help pay for the vast amount of support being provided at this time. Businesses also need certainty. That is why the City hopes for clarity on when office workers can return to Covid-secure workplaces as soon as possible.”