Covid-19 Business Support

Speaking up for London business throughout the pandemic

Throughout the crisis, LCCI has spoken up for London business, both in the media and in representations to national and local government, on a range of key issues.

In particular, LCCI has urged the Government to ensure that any measures introduced to combat COVID-19 are based on clear, transparent evidence.

London Recovery Board

LCCI’s Chief Executive, Richard Burge, sits on the London Recovery Board, which is co-chaired by the Mayor of London and the Chair of London Councils. It convenes leaders from across London business, governance, civil society, the health and education sectors, trade unions, and the police, to coordinate the city’s long-term recovery effort and plan for its post-COVID future.

In this capacity, our Chief Executive works to ensure that the needs of business are heard, and that their key role in London’s recovery is represented.

Central London Alliance

LCCI partnered with the Heart of London Business Alliance and Blue Orchid Hotels to form the Central London Alliance (CLA). This alliance brings together businesses, communities, charities, associations, and local authorities to pool their resources and influence for a safer, faster, and more sustainable central London recovery.

To support this recovery, the CLA produced a manifesto in September with key policy asks, including:

  • Providing sectoral help for London businesses
  • Delivering clear London-specific COVID messaging
  • Giving central London the transport it deserves
  • Helping London remain globally competitive

Financial support

LCCI has actively made the case for ensuring that businesses have access to the financial support urgently needed during this crisis. This has included the following actions:

  • At the outset of the pandemic, LCCI’s Chief Executive, Richard Burge, called on leaders of the financial and professional services ecosystem in London to pull together to increase bank lending until the Government’s coronavirus support measures came into effect.
  • LCCI backed the #RaiseTheBar campaign, which called for the expansion of the rateable value threshold for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, to support firms that were unable to receive coronavirus business rates relief funding.
  • In August, LCCI’s Chief Executive wrote to the Business Secretary, urging the Government to delay the closure of the Government’s Discretionary Grant Fund (DGF), which was set up to help struggling micro and small businesses that were unable to access support from other grants or funds.

Protecting job and livelihoods

As we neared a second lockdown, LCCI joined chambers of commerce across the UK in a letter to the Prime Minister, warning of the gravity of the situation facing businesses, and setting out five business tests that any new restrictions must meet.

The five tests are:

  1. Are the restrictions evidence-based and targeted effectively?
  2. Are the restrictions clear and do businesses have time to prepare?
  3. Is support for businesses commensurate with the impact on them?
  4. Will the time that the restrictions are in place be used to significantly improve the Test, Trace and Isolate system?
  5. Is there a clear process for increasing and decreasing restrictions?

TfL funding

LCCI and London's local chambers of commerce jointly called for the Government, City Hall and London's MPs to put politics aside and ensure that the short to medium-term deal to fund London's transport network does not impact business survival or recovery. 

As part of this, LCCI and London’s local chambers wrote to London’s MPs, urging them to help find a non-partisan and viable solution. The letter warned that widening the Congestion Charge zone to a significantly greater area will hamper the capital’s economic recovery drastically, and that any fare hikes must be carefully considered, given the potential for deterring travel on the TfL network.

International travel

International business travel and tourism are vital to many sectors of our economy. LCCI has actively made the case for supporting the aviation sector to continue operating as effectively as possible throughout the pandemic.

As part of this, following the announcement of a blanket quarantine policy in June, LCCI’s Chief Executive wrote to the Minister for London, urging the Government to introduce country-by-country assessments for quarantining visitors and safe travel corridors. The letter also called for targeted support for airports, including a business rates holiday or rate reduction.

Flexible rail tickets

To support London’s workforce and businesses with adapting to ongoing changes to work patterns, LCCI has called for carnet or part-week rail tickets for use across the TfL and London suburban rail networks.

Polling by LCCI and Savanta ComRes found that four in five business leaders back the wider introduction of flexible rail season tickets in the capital.

Amplifying members’ positive action

LCCI has amplified some of the positive steps taken by businesses to help London respond to the crisis. This action has included providing bikes so that NHS staff could commute safely during lockdown, the provision of accommodation, food and supplies, appeals for PPE for disability carers, and providing premises for NHS use.

Get Connected

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For more information, contact our Policy and Public Affairs team

Phone: +44 (0)20 7203 1911


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