London Chamber of Commerce & Industry has backed a campaign to support London businesses who have been left unable to receive coronavirus business rates relief funding.
The #RaiseTheBar campaign, led across the country by Croydon BID, is seeking to help businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors who have a rateable value of more than £51,000 – the cap set by the Government for access to business rates relief.
The campaign asks the Government to expand the rateable value threshold for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses from £51,000 to any business with a rateable value up to and including £150,000.
In doing so, this would allow over 19,000 businesses in London to access the £25,000 grant in order to survive through the crisis and play a key part in the capital’s recovery.
Richard Burge, chief executive of London Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said: “The Government has rightly received praise for its rapid and expansive economic support package during the coronavirus crisis.
“All these measures were introduced at pace, and understandably there are areas where the detail hasn’t worked for all businesses. One crucial hole is the £51,000 national cap on the business rates relief grant – which penalises many small, and independent businesses in the capital simply because of the high land values in London.
“LCCI support the Raise The Bar campaign, as by raising the rateable value cap it would give thousands of businesses access to the business rates relief that increases their chance of surviving the crisis, and enable them to play a role in London’s recovery.”
Matthew Sims, chief executive of Croydon BID, said: “We acknowledge that by increasing the RHLG threshold up to and including £150,000 will increase the burden on central and local government.
“This is a price we believe is worth paying to ensure businesses are given the opportunity to become part of the greater push to mobilise our economy, rather than leaving premises empty, growing unemployment with or without the job retention scheme and sectors contracting across the board.”
Businesses and members of the public are asked to spare 60 seconds to support the campaign by signing the petition.