Tuesday 17 March 2020
Commenting after a meeting of business groups with the Mayor of London about the economic impact of coronavirus, LCCI CEO Richard Burge said:
“Those round the table all recognise the challenge that the Government are faced with and the pace this situation is evolving at. They also know that it’s not just a London crisis, but the whole UK. However, there are circumstances unique to London which means it needs targeted intervention.
For example, rateable values of many small business premises in London are higher than the £51,000 level that the Government capped the business rates holiday at. This needs to be looked at again immediately, as cashflow is fast running out for some of these businesses.
In general terms, we need to ensure that the economic support measures allow people to pay their rent and mortgage, or keep their business afloat. That’s also key to preserving life and ensuring self-isolation compliance.
It may be time for the Government to establish an emergency economic panel, to run parallel to COBRA.
A whole host of specific measures are required, from taxation delays to free up cashflow, to increasing bank lending, to large companies releasing payments to smaller companies quicker, through to ensuring that our aviation industry can maximise freight and cargo movement - particularly with Chinese producers starting back up.
London is at the centre of the UK outbreak. But it’s also at the centre of the business determination to get us through this crisis.”
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