City Corporation extends support for Square Mile SMEs


The City of London Corporation has extended the deadline for submissions to its Covid Business Recovery Fund to 30 June 2021.

Eligibility has also been expanded to businesses with a trading premise, or a signed lease for a premise, in the City of London on or before 5 November 2020.

The Covid Business Recovery Fund offers up to £50 million of support for SME businesses which contribute to the Square Mile’s vibrancy at street level and which directly provide services to returning City workers, visitors and residents. It aims to support those businesses that can evidence, through the grant application process, a likelihood that with support they have a reasonable chance to survive beyond the short-term.

Applicants will need to demonstrate they provide an in-person service to the general public in either the retail, hospitality, medical or leisure sectors. Other requirements include that the business has taken steps to reduce its costs as far as practical, has taken up all available grants/loans and has actively engaged with its landlord and agreed a rent-free period or a reduction in rent.

Grants will be based on individual requirements after a financial evaluation but will not exceed £100,000 per business.

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Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness, said: Extending the application deadline for support from the Covid Business Recovery Fund to the end of June will enable more City SMEs to access this financial lifeline

“While many businesses have recently reopened their doors and started welcoming customers back, we know that some will need help to bridge the gap as the Square Mile gradually returns to being a vibrant and thriving hub.

“This fund will play a vital role in supporting the City’s economic recovery and will help us, in partnership with our SMEs, to build back better.”

Small businesses that directly interact with the public (e.g. food, hospitality and close-contact services) will be required to register with the Covid Compliant Accreditation Scheme (CCAS) if they have not done so already. The CCAS is aimed at supporting businesses in their reopening by sharing best practice and reassuring customers that they have systems in place to minimise risks associated with coronavirus and that their premises are safe to visit.

Businesses can find further information on the fund and apply here. The Small Business Research + Enterprise Centre will provide support to any applicants unsure how to use the portal.

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