Lobbying Fair Covid Grant Allocation
27 November 2020
Following on from last week’s article highlighting our recent advocacy work and representing the voice of businesses in the Quarter, we have this week submitted a letter to the Chancellor. We have reiterated the concerns of the leader of Westminster City Council, Councillor Rachael Robathan, relating to the allocation of coronavirus one-off discretionary grants for businesses.
Working with our partners at seven other BIDs in Westminster, the letter highlights concerns with the grant allocation formula that doesn’t take into account daytime population or the economic productivity of an area. Prior to the current coronavirus, Westminster welcomed a day-time population in-excess of 1 million – over four times the residential population of the borough – supporting more than 715,000 jobs and contributing £53.6bn annually to the national economic output – the highest contribution of any local authority in the UK. The proposed funding formula for the allocation of the one-off discretionary grant allocation is based on residential population and will therefore offer limited support to our businesses, many of whom are reliant on this help.
This is particularly important given the challenge facing businesses in central London with the sudden loss of visitors and office workers alongside a relatively small residential population, resulting in a in significant loss of trade. Our recommendation is that financial support takes into consideration the number of businesses and the amount of business rates generated by an area.
For more information on this and our other advocacy work, visit our Collective Voice pages.