On 22 May 2020, we hosted our first Virtual Business Forum, on Zoom, with guest Steve Reed MP to talk through some of the pressures facing local businesses, including high street shops, local offices and our vibrant freelancer community. Thank you to ward councillor Stephen Mann for arranging this session on our behalf. The format was a success and we look forward to continued and constructive dialogue using these methods.
We attach the letters from Steve Reed's office sent in response this week to our community and lobbying on our behalf to Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP. While many local businesses and employees have benefitted from support and government financial relief, there are many excluded categories of businesses that are under extreme pressure and need answers from our representatives and a commitment to fight for equal treatment. For more information, see numerous pressure groups such as Excluded UK and Forgotten Ltd
Since the meeting took place, local authorities have been finalising Discretionary Grant application processes to provide financial relief for some of the businesses and organisations who have been excluded from support.
LOCAL AUTHORITY Discretionary Grants
- open to businesses and not-for-profit organisations and designed to cover some of the previously excluded categories, with different criteria set by local authorities.
Croydon - application portal live from 4 June 2020
Bromley - application portal goes live 10 June 2020
Lambeth - has created a hardship fund, which is making grants to some of the excluded categories of businesses : https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/information-for-businesses/local-economy-hardship-fund
In our next posts, we will share information about the phased re-opening of the Crystal Palace high streets and how businesses are making preparations for a safe return to the High Street.