The Office: Time for Government to offer certainty and direction by Primera Corporation, Brand Partner of CLA
Central London Alliance and Optimiser on the role of automation and data in the city’s recovery
London Love Affair: New campaign launches to bring public back to the capital
Cross-media campaign launched to encourage members of the public safely back to Central London
London businesses urge Rishi Sunak to deliver ‘Marshall Plan’ to help capital’s
Central London Alliance calls for government financial support to help London’s entertainment and hospitality businesses
Central London Alliance urges support for businesses calling Tier 3 restrictions “catastrophic” for London
London shops should stay open until 11pm after lockdown to boost West End, business leader says
Central London Alliance launches to aid economic recovery of London’s business
28th October 2021
Central London Alliance Statement on Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021
We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement which includes: the simplifying alcohol duties, cancellation of the multiplier in 2022, assisting some smaller businesses by extending the business rates relief with 50% off for the hospitality and leisure sector for the next financial year, the provision of grants to encourage international firms to invest in the UK’s most critical and innovative industries and measures enabling foreign companies to relocate to the UK. Whilst these announcements are positive steps, the lack of recognition of the capital’s significant contribution to the UK economy; its role in the levelling up and Building Back Better agendas; the disproportionate affect the pandemic has had on its businesses, and the consequential need for necessity for targeted support, is disappointing.
When London prospers, so does the rest of the UK. The centre of London on its own generates £211 billion GVA, employs 1.9 million people and contributes £4.6 billion in business rates, funding the delivery of public services across the country. London has been recognised, on many international rankings, as a leading global player. London’s status as a global city, continuing to generate economic surplus, is at acute risk and the Chancellor must continue to utilise his skill and imagination to ensure its safe recovery.
The capital is set to receive less than 2% of the first round of national funding for levelling-up projects despite the centre of London being hardest hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to level-up the rest of the UK but this cannot be done by simply levelling down London; a detrimental effect on the whole of the UK economy. Central London businesses need further targeted support (see CLA asks) in order to deliver jobs, growth and investment; positively contributing to the UK’s economy.
Significant reform is needed on the inequitable business rates system based on the value of bricks and mortar (a 21st century window tax). This is a missed opportunity for businesses, the wider economy, and impairs Central London’s recovery. As one example London’s larger, privately owned hotels have seen a substantial fall in revenue due to enforced closures, travel prohibitions and restrictions and the significantly reduced demand from workers, business and other visitors. These are combined with higher central London (and rising) costs. The cap on business rates relief only scratches the surface of their problem as they face business rates demands very significantly above the £110,000 cap. The current system is continuing to put excellent, well established and well run businesses, which employ hundreds of thousands and make vital contributions to the creation of vibrant urban centres, at a significant disadvantage and risk of failure.
It is imperative that the Government goes further to support central London businesses, permitting them to continue to innovate and to demonstrate their world class skills and services, provide jobs, growth and investment and to lead recovery - by ensuring that the right measures of support are in place. The current pandemic has shed light on the challenges global cities face, and we must not constrain or impair London’s ability to demonstrate a sustainable recovery and its role as a leading global city.
28th July 2021
CLA’s Response to Government’s Travel Update
“We warmly welcome the latest decision from the Government’s COVID Operations Committee to allow fully vaccinated international travellers from the United States and European Union to enter England without quarantining.
The success of London’s recovery is dependent upon the ability of the 22 million international travellers that previously visited the capital every year to return to our global city with minimal barriers so that they can enjoy London’s rich culture and heritage, world-renowned hospitality, and world-leading retail, financial and professional services. This sensible and proportionate step is a clear signal that London is open.
This is a positive move welcomed by the CLA and the thousands of organisations allied to the London recovery agenda. London is a diverse and world class city and the removal of barriers to vaccinated travellers from the US and EU will enable us to safely reconnect with friends, family, clients and businesses stimulating trade and investment, and marks a critical moment in the road to London’s recovery.”
23rd July 2021
Industry leaders conclude that collaboration is the key to a sustainable recovery for London
At a meeting convened by the Central London Alliance and the Urban Living Festival on Wednesday 21 July, a number of key London stakeholders and thought leaders discussed London’s post pandemic future.
The panel led by Tony Matharu, chairman and Founder of Central London Alliance, included Joe Dromey, Director, Central London Forward, Alexander Jan, Chief Economic Adviser, London Property Alliance and Chair of Central District Alliance and Hatton Garden BIDs, Baroness Claire Fox, British writer, journalist, lecturer and Director and founder of think tank, Academy of Ideas and Richard Burge, Chief Executive, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Attendees comprised of representatives from Local Authorities, Business Improvement Districts, from the property, arts, hospitality, charity, technology, media, transport and financial services sectors, together with business groups and residents associations, amongst others.
The issue of Government messaging described as confusing, contradictory and inconsistent was raised early on and was considered unhelpful in stimulating the confidence and reassurance needed for London’s recovery. The belief that the real scale of the crisis has not manifested itself fully to date as it has been masked by Government support stimulated debate about the challenges confronting London as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the solutions required to stimulate London’s recovery.
The panellists agreed that:
The pandemic’s impact on remote and flexible working was widely discussed, acknowledging the number of unstated and unintended consequences. The panel highlighted that not everyone has the working from home option. Baroness Claire Fox went on to address the disadvantages of working from home: “It doesn’t mean that working from home whilst a preferred option for many is the right thing for them; young people cannot learn the job from their zoom computer. You need to learn on the job. Networking, communicating with people, how to do deals and conversations between formal meetings are done on the job…” Alexander Jan contributed that “The only comprehensive working from home study revealed that despite increased screen time workers were on average 20% less productive from April to June this year.” However, Richard Burge added “we need to stop telling employers what they should and shouldn’t do and let them get on with doing business successfully within London.”
International travel with its typical 22million visitors per annum to the capital, and the value of tourism to the UK economy was highlighted and its importance for London emphasised rather than ignored. Both the international travel industry and the capital’s local transport system are finding it difficult to recover. Members of the audience agreed that a strategy to re-open and rekindle London’s reputation, the most visited city in the country, is vital. The #londonloveaffair campaign, set to reach over 150 million impressions this summer was cited as an example of a successful self-help recovery campaign encouraging visitors to central London and to the workplace.
The panellists agreed that risk taking must be celebrated to gain positive results in driving London and its businesses towards recovery. Entrepreneurs and risk takers who are invested in London in many ways could rekindle the vibrancy and provide an organic response for London. Baroness Fox’s opinion humoured many: “London is a mess. And what a joy that is, and I want it back”.
Additional key comments and outcomes included London is key to the levelling up agenda:
The experts agreed that Government policies need to be informed by and respond to London’s businesses, employers, wealth creators, arts and cultural organisations and their workers and others who in agglomeration have made and can continue to make London a great world class city.
In a London where businesses and other organisations can be the catalysts for positive change, if supported, the panellists (who at times had divergences of opinion) agreed that if London is to thrive, business groups and others need to work together. Recovery will be led by the collaborative effort of many.
Established for the sole purpose of helping central London recover from the pandemic and the response to it, being politically agnostic and occupying a unique space by devoting significant attention to the return to the workplace agenda, the Central London Alliance, with its broad reach to over twenty thousand organisations, aims to understand and respond to the needs of London and Londoners and to assist in stimulating recovery.
8th July 2021
Central London Alliance’s response to the PM and Transport Secretary’s announcements 08/07/21
The Central London Alliance welcomes the Prime Minister’s five-point plan and the removal of government restrictions from 19th July
The allowance for businesses to make their own informed decisions and removal of venue capacity restrictions and social distancing is critical to the survival of businesses in central London, who have suffered through no fault of their own and have been disproportionately impacted since the start of the pandemic.
The effects of some of the toughest and longest lasting restrictions on business operations have resulted in severe financial difficulties in the hospitality, tourism, culture and arts, travel and night-time economy industries and their supply chains. Targeted support is vital.
This need for urgent support and targeted action is emphasised by UK Hospitality reporting that in addition to the £87 billion lost since March 2020, the hospitality industry faced £3 billion lost in sales directly due to the four-week delay in lifting restrictions.
Central London will experience delays in seeing any benefits resulting from reopening and it requires targeted action specifically for London including as follows:
additional business rates relief to support businesses impacted by the pandemic to include hotels and the hospitality sector;
reduced rate of VAT for hospitality providers and the cultural industries to be extended to March 2022;
reinstating the VAT refund for overseas visitors indefinitely;
extending Sunday trading hours in the international centres;
targeted support to night-time economy businesses which have been unable to open fully since the first lockdown.
The Central London Alliance welcomes the Transport Secretary’s announcement today on lifting restrictions and urges him and the Prime Minister to work closely with the travel industry to allow international travel to return safely. Even as coronavirus restrictions are removed, the tourism industry will continue to be impacted by their effects. The industry plays a significant role in the success of the UK economy but has been severely impacted by the pandemic seeing a decline of up to 78% on results between 2020 and 2019, where international visitors contributed £15.7 billion to London’s economy – more than 63 per cent of all international tourist spending in the United Kingdom – and over 50 per cent of UK trips included a visit to London, according to the Office for National Statistics. Current dependence upon domestic visitors is unsustainable, and the reduction of international tourism in London’s Central Activities Zone has reduced London’s distribution effect, damaging national economic recovery.
The lifting of the “work from home” message is essential for businesses from all sectors in central London to survive and to restore London’s offering as a global city, driving the UK’s economy. We must all collaborate to encourage businesses to support a safe return to the work place.
The Prime Minister was right to acknowledge the costs the restrictions have brought with them and confirmation on 12th July will be critical together with a continuation of guidelines, rather than any future imposed restrictions. Central London now has a long route to recovery and further barriers cannot be afforded.
14th June 2021
In response to the Prime Minister’s Announcement on the Delay of Lockdown Lifting in England, Central London Alliance comments:
“We applaud the outstanding efforts of the NHS in the vaccine delivery and they have our full support in the continued roll out, but the delay announced today in the lifting of restrictions is potentially devastating for businesses, tipping some into a final collapse and plunging many into unemployment: affecting hundreds of thousands’ livelihoods.
Whilst the Government has a fine balance to strike, the catastrophic impact on central London and its businesses, already severely and disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the response to it, cannot be overlooked. Businesses are being left in substantial debt and are at risk of suffering ‘economic long COVID’.
Hospitality, the hardest hit sector during the crisis, has lost more than £87 billion in sales and London has suffered the most. A one-month delay to restrictions lifting will cost the sector around £3 billion in sales and place around 300,000 jobs at risk. Thousands more jobs from those working in the music industry who have been without work for more than a year now are at risk, with over 5,000 planned events from festivals to grassroots music gigs now being cancelled.
Alongside the impact on revenue, businesses are now facing a jump in costs with business rates payments set to recommence and employer contributions to furlough kicking in. We urge the Chancellor to be forthcoming with support if businesses are going to survive after more than 15 months of closure and severely disrupted trading through no fault of their own. It is imperative that Government postpones business rates payments until the end of the year and engages with us on the looming crisis of landlords and tenants. Tenants have benefited from the moratorium and in many cases have not paid their landlords who are themselves imperilled by exposure to their banks and other financiers. Business support measures should reflect the level of restrictions announced and remain in place until the economy is able to reopen fully.
We must not underestimate the critical need for support now and must recognise the importance to rescue the economy. The Government must assist central London businesses to get back on their feet and continue to make a positive contribution to the UK economy – only possible if businesses are given permission to trade fully alongside appropriate support."
References: UK Hospitality and LIVE
18th May, 2021
The Lord Mayor of London Lights up ‘London Love Affair’ Initiative
Blue Orchid Tower Suites, London: The Central London Alliance celebrated the reopening of the hospitality and cultural industries last night with a ‘Love London’ event for London-based businesses, cultural and arts organisations and others seeking to assist with the re-opening of London and its restoration as a diverse and inclusive global city. The event was supported by The Lord Mayor of London, recognising the crucial importance of hospitality, culture, attractions, travel and tourism to London’s economy.
The Lord Mayor of London, Alderman William Russel said: “Culture, heritage and hospitality are deeply rooted in the history of the City and it is part of what makes the Square Mile so attractive to visitors and workers alike.
I would like to thank Tony Matharu for launching the Central London Alliance last year – an important forum for Central London businesses. His support and contribution to the City of London Corporation’s Cultural and Commerce Taskforce, has also been incredibly important in showing ways in which culture and commerce can collaborate and bring central London back to life.”
Tony Matharu stated: “We created Central London Alliance almost a year ago to provide a non-political voice for central London businesses and to drive a faster more sustainable economic return for London and for Londoners. The Central Activity Zone employs 1.9m people and contributes £4.6bn in business rates yet it has industry sectors and sections of society which have been substantially and disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and in need of targeted support. This includes young people and those already economically disadvantaged. When London prospers so does the UK and we cannot sit back in the hope that it will just ‘bounce back’.
“The necessity of connecting and collaborating in partnership with others through face-to-face communication is essential. The opening up of hospitality signifies an important moment on the one-way journey to recovery and return to workplaces in the capital.”
Founded in the summer of 2020, Central London Alliance, a Community Interest Company, is committed to enabling the safe, sustainable recovery of Central London.
Contact: Nadia Perrier
12th April, 2021
Campaign encourages the public to rekindle their love of London
With today marking another step on the road to lockdown easing, as non-essential retail and hospitality businesses reopen, a campaign has been launched to encourage members of the public back to central London.
The ‘London Love Affair’ campaign has been launched by Central London Alliance, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Integrity International Group, working with media partners including JCDecaux UK, Bauer Media Group and City AM to deliver an advertising campaign on Out-of-Home media, online and radio, to audiences in London, the home counties and elsewhere.
The campaign, designed by fst, features central London street scenes, the memories that those viewing or listening may have experienced in those locations, and positively encourages a return to central London to make more memories.
Tony Matharu of the Central London Alliance, said:
“Today marks another measured step on the road to recovery for London. I’m pleased that the partners, supporters and advocates of the Central London Alliance have come together to launch a non-political campaign that encourages the public to rekindle their love affair with central London.
“Our wonderful city holds glorious memories for so many people, and it’s now time to be positive about enjoying the rich tapestry of life that London has to offer, and to make more memories here.”
People are being encouraged to support the campaign by sharing the locations that are special to them in central London, including images of their visits in the capital, by using the hashtag #londonloveaffair on social media.
Whilst a toolkit to support the campaign, including campaign images, plus further information and assets, are available to businesses, attractions and other London organisations at londonloveaffair.com.
Richard Burge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:
“This is an important campaign, not only for London, but also to the UK – as central London is a vital part of both the national and global economy.
“The Central London Alliance and LCCI hope that the campaign brings a boost to businesses, helps to protect the unique economic and cultural ecosystem of central London, and helps encourage safe visits to central London, within the parameters of the government guidance. These visits then hopefully become return visits, and we can rebuild consumer confidence alongside safe covid compliance.”
The Central London Alliance, a Community Interest Company, was formed to support a sustainable, economic recovery of London’s business, hospitality, cultural, tourism, and retail sectors and to help both employers and workers to survive through coronavirus and beyond. Politically agnostic and supported by organisations of varying sizes and sectors, the Central London Alliance works towards a safe and strong economic recovery of central London, ensuring its continued viability as a leading global city. More about the organisation’s mission can be found here.
Partners in the London Love Affair campaign include: London Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Integrity International Group, New West End Company, City of London Corporation, Primera, fst, Blue Orchid Hotels, the Company of Entrepreneurs, Glotelligence, Location Collective, Optimiser, London Taxi Drivers Association and Westminster Business Council.
For media interviews:
Contact: Steven Reilly-Hii, Senior Media Relations Manager, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 0207 203 1897.
17th March, 2021
European Commission travel proposals could benefit London and UK recovery
The Central London Alliance has today urged the UK government to explore the adoption of the EU’s coronavirus digital green certificate scheme, and the benefits it could bring to London and the UK's economic recovery from COVID-19.
The Digital Green Certificate will be a proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19.
It will be available, free of charge, in digital or paper format. It will include a QR code to ensure security and authenticity of the certificate. The Commission will build a gateway to ensure all certificates can be verified across the EU, and support Member States in the technical implementation of certificates. The certificate would be issued to EU citizens and their family members, regardless of their nationality. It should also be issued to non-EU nationals who reside in the EU and to visitors who have the right to travel to other Member States.
The ability to travel internationally with confidence will be absolutely vital to London’s economic recovery, and therefore the economic recovery of the UK.
The EU's proposals for a coronavirus digital green certificate sound a sensible way to safely get the continent’s travel, tourism, and trade industries moving once more.
The Central London Alliance urge the UK government to explore the adoption of this Europe-wide scheme – to provide consistency of approach and confidence to travellers across Europe.
4th March 2021
In response to the Chancellor's Budget announcement, Central London Alliance comments:
"We welcome the fact that in this Budget the Government has recognised Central London Alliance’s calls for businesses to be supported as they open up and beyond - the extension of furlough until September, Restart Grants, and the extension of the VAT cut for hospitality and tourism are all fundamental to the future prosperity of our capital city.
Further, we are pleased the Government has acknowledged the importance of culture with the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, supporting the likes of the West End’s world-class arts and cultural sector, although we still would like to see the introduction of an insurance scheme for live events.
Whilst welcome, these support measures focus on short-term survival for central London businesses, which have been disproportionately affected, and we are concerned that targeted investment will be needed in the medium and longer-term due to a delayed return of footfall from workers and domestic and international visitors which London has historically attracted and is so dependent on.
The issue of rent arrears will continue to weigh heavily on tenants and provide uncertainty for landlords and we have been calling for Government to set out an exit strategy to transition back to normal rental market conditions.
There was much in the Budget about levelling up the country, which we of course support, but we would argue that to achieve the best economic recovery possible, we need a thriving, prosperous London at its forefront. London needs a special recovery plan - over 1-2 years - to enable our capital to be back on its feet so that it can drive the rest of the UK economy.
As the powerhouse of the UK economy, central London businesses will need continued support and measures to help kick-start economic recovery to enable them to operate as they would in normal times and to continue to retain employees and to invest.
Central London’s businesses need to see fundamental reform on business rates which currently are punitive for certain types of business and which disproportionately hurt central London’s businesses.
Central London remains one of the world’s most attractive and competitive business locations, generating almost 10% of the UK’s economic output, widening the tax base and underpinning the UK economy. But we cannot assume it will just bounce back. It is only with continued Government support that central London can spearhead the UK’s recovery.”
In response to the Prime Ministers Announcement of the Easing of Lockdown in England, Central London Alliance comments:
“We support the Government’s approach to lifting restrictions and are encouraged by the broad roadmap of what businesses can expect which, though cautious, is based on data and evidence and will allow businesses to focus on planning for the future.
However, continued restrictions, especially beyond the current furlough scheme and business relief period, without additional business support will be catastrophic for many businesses within central London and many more jobs will be lost. A record of redundancies has already been hit with London seeing the greatest number of recorded job losses. We do not want that to continue.
The reality is that it will be some time before the economy returns to normal, and, in the near term, central London will continue to be disproportionately affected by the combination of social distancing measures and reduced footfall from residents, workers and tourists hindering businesses’ ability to operate. Central London businesses need targeted support for the rest of the year at least, and bespoke support for sectors that cannot open or cover their costs due to the restrictions. Without targeted support and consideration of the specific local disproportionate costs of operating businesses in central London there is a real and present danger that the Central Activity Zone will be hollowed out, with London's economic and social capital diminished and thousands of jobs lost.
We welcome the reports that the Chancellor is looking to extend the year-long business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure and the extension of the furlough scheme.
The progress made by the Government on the vaccine roll out has been remarkable. We must not take our foot off the pedal. Now is the time to recognise the importance to restart the economy and assist central London businesses to get back on their feet and to continue to make a positive contribution to the economy. Central London can recover but it needs help in the form of tangible economic support - not simply optimism."
29th September 2020
The Central London Alliance (CLA), consisting of organisations of various sizes and sectors, has launched to support a sustainable, economic recovery of London’s business, hospitality, cultural, tourism, and retail sectors. The Alliance is set to help employers stabilise and then recover during coronavirus and beyond, benefitting thousands of workers employed in central London.
Formed by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Heart of London Business Alliance, and Blue Orchid Hotels, the CLA is a collection of London businesses large and small, communities, charities, associations, and authorities. The CLA are pooling their resources and influence for a safer, faster, and more sustainable recovery of central London and through this the whole of the UK.
The centre of London on its own generates £211 bn GVA, employs 1.9 million people and generates a substantial tax surplus which funds the delivery of public services, such as schools, hospitals, and railways, across the country. London and its surrounding areas are the only part of the UK to contribute more to the public purse than they receive from central government. This money is crucial to levelling up the regions of the UK.
The Significance of Central London
When London prospers, so does the rest of the UK – the two are inextricably linked.
To that end the CLA has identified four specific policy asks from the government to support the recovery of central London:
Substantial sector specific support for central London businesses that cannot operate profitably or reopen due to Covid-19 restrictions; and wider support for businesses in the event of Government imposing lockdown measures on London.
Clear, precise, consistent messaging from Government on what its Covid-19 measures and advice mean for London, especially on whether London can be visited safely and sustainably. Government should be clear about what people are still allowed to do, not just what they cannot, and back up its announcements with detailed briefings on the impact of lockdown measures on London and other large metropolitan areas.
Better transport that is affordable, sustainable, safe, and keeps central London flowing. In the short term, temporary travel incentives to nudge people back into Central London, flexible ticketing that mirrors the new commuter and removal of the extended congestion charge. Looking more long-term for Government and City Hall to work together to agree a 5-year settlement that puts sustainability at its centre.
A suite of measures to keep central London a flagship global destination over the medium and long term, attracting international visitors, boosting its competitiveness, and benefitting the whole of the UK. Measures include increased tourism marketing budgets, extended Sunday trading and visa reforms for global visitors.
Policy documents here : http://www.centrallondonalliance.com/manifesto.html
Ros Morgan, Chief Executive of the Heart of London Business Alliance, commenting on the launch of the CLA said, “The launch of the Central London Alliance sends a clear message that the capital city has the leadership and appetite to recover. Central London has so much to offer in terms of culture, retail, and leisure. Central London’s dynamic businesses and rich culture and experiences are not merely job creators: they are critical to the UK’s global competitiveness.
“If the country is to recover and grow stronger in the longer term, we must all work together to get London firing on all cylinders as quickly and safely as possible. That is the overriding goal of the CLA,” concluded Morgan.
Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry continued, “Central London means so many things to so many people across the world. Its economy is the beating heart of our capital and our country. It powers global trade, enterprise, and investment. It is the hub of British tourism.”
“The role of the Alliance is to gather together the expertise and passion of those within central London to ensure this recovery happens sooner and sustainably. Let us talk about what we can do and see London coming together to safely drive the recovery.”
Tony Matharu, founder and Chairman, Blue Orchid Hotels and Integrity International Group commented, ““London is an unrivalled city and a global leader for business, culture and innovation; renowned and admired across the world for its enterprise and dynamism”.
“It is also resilient and now requires policies, support and positive action to enable it to remain the much loved and admired global city safely enjoyed by so many and to thrive in prosperity and health of both the capital and for the rest of the country”.
(Source: ARUP report on Good Growth for Central London published March 2020)
14 December 2020
“This move is catastrophic for London and particularly for its hotel, hospitality, retail and cultural sectors. These sectors, already severely and disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, are now in a critical condition and the decision to move all of London into Tier 3 could not have come at a worse time. The prospect of some slight recovery during the festive season is now gone, just as the BREXIT negotiations continue to run into serious challenges.
It has been impossible to plan with the stop/ start lockdown regime and lack of the promised, world-leading test, track and trace programme. If London is expected to go through repeated lockdowns, there must be a clear understanding of what level of support affected businesses can expect and when, to allow them to plan effectively and efficiently and to determine whether they can continue to save jobs and livelihoods.
“It is important to stress that the most severely affected sectors in Central London have been imperilled through no fault of their own. Despite considerable efforts to provide safe and secure environments they have thus far been rewarded by changing, inconsistent and incoherent directives and muddled thinking, creating uncertainty, and making it impossible to plan ahead. The thresholds, rationale and processes to move up and down Tiers and the variation in treatment of boundaries remain unclear and are not understood.
“In order to survive and retain jobs, Central London businesses need an immediate commitment of financial support that recognises the high costs of doing business in Central London. This needs to be unlike past offers of support which failed to recognise the distinct needs of businesses in London and particularly its hotel, hospitality, retail and cultural sectors.
“The Government must provide immediate targeted business support to correspond with the ‘swift and decisive’ action announced today and the articulated apparent understanding of the impact on the economy, and suggestions of new ways to protect it. The catastrophic impact on London is reflected in London having the second highest unemployment rate in the country in Q3 2020 (6%), and this is only set to substantially increase now.
“The Government, working with local authorities, must immediately roll out the long promised universal mass testing now, to ensure infection rates are properly identified and controlled.
“It is absolutely essential to keep at the very front of our minds that London provides so well for the rest of the country – the economic benefit of a thriving London stretches well beyond the capital. Central London hosts 1.9 million jobs and generates GVA of £211 billion. It alone generates 19% of England’s total business rates revenue of £4.6 billion.
“Central London is now looking to the Government and the Mayor’s office for strong leadership, rapid and effective support, and a clear strategy to make London the resurgent capital the entire country needs.”
5th January 2021
“Whilst we accept the overriding public health situation and that we are all responsible for playing our part in keeping infection numbers down, the Government is also responsible for ensuring that every viable business obtains the support it needs, for as long as needed. Survival until Spring will be futile if businesses fail immediately thereafter, so the articulated support must continue.
“Businesses require longer-term certainty and continued support so that they can sustain jobs and livelihoods and play their vital role in helping London’s survival and the UK’s economic recovery.
“The Government needs to provide a clear roadmap that will lead London out of this crisis. To help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 enforced restrictions, this roadmap must include, as a minimum:
“When London succeeds, so does the rest of the UK. A weakened London impairs the Government’s articulated levelling up agenda. To the contrary, a successful, strong and stable London, without the shadow of uncertainty hanging over it, supports the Government’s levelling up, its Building Back Better and its Global Britain agendas. Right now, London’s status as a global city, continuing to generate economic surplus, is at acute risk and any complacency that London will simply survive because it always has done, despite the worst economic recession for over 300 years, is dangerous and must be avoided.”