London mayor Sadiq Khan in support of the #RaisetheBar campaign

Robyn Black

Robyn Black

07 May 2020

The campaign asks the government to increase the business rates threshold from £51,000 to £150,000

Some 19,000 businesses in London are unable to access the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant as a result of the current threshold.

Kahn has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma MP urging them to increase the threshold.

In the letter, he writes: ‘Many London firms will need additional and ongoing support to survive the continuing lockdown and the exit and recovery periods which will follow. Many face crippling rent bills and are unable to qualify for the financial assistance on offer, in part due to the higher rateable values of property in the capital.’

He also requests that the government:

  • Introduce a rent compensation scheme for small and medium-sized businesses that are struggling to pay their rent bills due to coronavirus. It should also encourage the property industry to bolster government support with other help for tenants and require banks and fund managers to give landlords flexibility on servicing debt.
  • Introduce a rent compensation scheme for small and medium-sized businesses that are struggling to pay their rent bills due to coronavirus. It should also encourage the property industry to bolster government support with other help for tenants and require banks and fund managers to give landlords flexibility on servicing debt.
  • Provide further discretionary funding to allow local areas to support businesses within London’s small business ecosystem that have been excluded from existing grants and rate reliefs.
  • Improve the job retention scheme to better support struggling businesses to part-furlough workers on reduced hours during lower demand periods, and to support lower-paid workers who have seen their income fall below the National Living Wage.

This week the Wine & Spirit Trade Association also wrote the government – this time to ask for re-assurances for drinks companies around Brexit.

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