London,
09
June
2020
|
17:55
Europe/London

Continued support for Camden’s businesses

Camden Council is continuing to strive to ensure that no businesses get left behind in Camden as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Councillor Danny Beales, Cabinet Member for Investing in Communities and an Inclusive Economy
“The coronavirus pandemic has continued to cause an unprecedented impact across all areas of daily life, including our Camden based businesses.

“From the King’s Cross Knowledge Quarter, to jewellery workshops in Hatton Garden, our fantastic markets or our creative music sector, businesses big and small are suffering due to the necessary lockdown measures – and they need our help.

“We know that many businesses are worried about their ability to pay business rates and other costs, both during this period and going forward into an uncertain future.”
Councillor Danny Beales, Cabinet Member for Investing in Communities and an Inclusive Economy

To support them the council have been working quickly to deliver the funding allocated by government. To date we have provided £196 million of business rate relief and paid 3407 Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund to our local businesses, totalling £66million, with more than half being paid to businesses on the same day that we received the funding.

The council has also been working quickly to establish a new discretionary grant fund for businesses not eligible for the existing business grants scheme, following the government’s announcement of further funding being made available.

To support them the council have been working quickly to deliver the funding allocated by government. To date we have provided £196 million of business rate relief and paid 3407 Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund to our local businesses, totalling £66million, with more than half being paid to businesses on the same day that we received the funding.

The council has also been working quickly to establish a new discretionary grant fund for businesses not eligible for the existing business grants scheme, following the government’s announcement of further funding being made available.

Councillor Danny Beales continued:

“Camden have been allocated just £3.64m by central government for this scheme, and we know from speaking to local businesses that demand will exceed the available grants.

Because of this, we have had to give very careful consideration to ensure this funding can make a difference where it is most needed.

“We are now in a position to receive applications from eligible businesses and are publicising the scheme so that they have an opportunity to apply.  

“We will also continue to press government for additional funding so that all businesses who are eligible can receive vital funding.”

As a result the council we be focusing on:

  • Small and micro businesses
  • Businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs and/or
  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis

And in particular businesses within shared workspaces, severe hardship cases and market traders. More information is available online.

Since April, the council have been holding monthly meetings with its business board, business districts and Camden’s major landlords.

Councillor Danny Beales continued:

“Our major landlords group have confirmed a strong commitment to taking a responsible and flexible approach to rent collection at this time and also how we can best work together to mitigate the worst impact of the pandemic and where they can use their influence both regionally and nationally.

“As a business landlord in our own right, we have spoken with a significant number of our commercial tenants so far to offer support including rent deferrals.

 “We are supporting tenants who are taking our offer of rent deferrals with recovery plans around instalment payments to ensure that they have a sustainable debt management process which fits their individual circumstances.”

As well as the financial and practical assistance being provided to businesses, the council are also providing further ‘on the ground’ assistance.

Its frontline presence teams are out in the borough seven days a week, providing practical advice, materials and enforcement, if needed, to those shops and businesses who can currently open.

The council also knows that many Camden residents are finding it difficult to find and stay in good work, and that Coronavirus and the measures put in place to help address it are impacting residents in many ways, including around work and money.

To help address this it has created a job hub to provide free employment support to all Camden residents, supporting them in helping to address anything that is preventing them from finding or staying in work.

Camden Council is here to listen and work with our residents – anyone who registers with the Job Hub will be supported by a welcoming and friendly Job Hub Advisor, who will ensure they get the right support that they need.

Councillor Danny Beales continued:

“We continue to gather the experiences of Camden business owners to better understand how we can support them, both in the short and moving forward, to better ensure we can represent the voices of business when lobbying government.”

Find the latest information on support available to businesses in Camden including grants, loans, wage support, rent support and other assistance: https://www.camden.gov.uk/financial-support-for-businesses-and-employers or call our dedicated Coronavirus helpline on: 020 7974 4444 (option 9).