City of London residents urged to ‘pay it forward’ to help struggling local businesses


Local London Assembly Member, Unmesh Desai AM, is encouraging City of London residents to participate in City Hall’s new ‘Pay it Forward’ scheme, to support struggling local businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Mr Desai said that this could “play an important role in aiding the gradual recovery of our high streets and local economy”.

Through the initiative, Londoners will be able to help businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, who have been forced to close, by purchasing items from them in advance for collection upon their re-opening.

The launch of the scheme this week, which can be accessed through the website, comes in the wake of the Government’s decision to extend national lockdown measures for at least another three weeks.

The Mayor of London has recently warned of some of the significant challenges still being faced by businesses, particularly on the high street.

Despite the Government support package that has been put in place, many have been left to grapple with mounting bills, rents and a lack of cashflow in the absence of any income.

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City Hall is currently supporting the capital’s SMEs in a number of ways, including pledging an additional £1 million of investment to help companies recover from the economic fallout of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Small and medium sized businesses can also seek tailored advice through the London Growth Hub.

Mr Desai said: “It is of course only right that the Government have extended the lockdown period to push back this devastating virus and minimise the possibility of another outbreak.

“In the midst of this, we must remember that many small and medium businesses in the community, who have closed their doors in the interests of public health, are struggling with their rents, bills and a lack of cashflow.

“As Londoners, we can provide a helping hand to these businesses. City Hall’s new ‘Pay it Forward’ scheme provides the perfect opportunity for this and could play an important role in aiding the gradual recovery of our high streets and local economy”.

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