Lambeth Council announces major support package for the Borough's businesses, residents and workers

Lambeth council has today approved a wide-ranging and ambitious economic package to help struggling businesses, voluntary and community sector (VCS) groups and the borough’s residents cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lambeth’s major economic package to support workers and businesses affected by impacts of coronavirus is one of the largest and most comprehensive launched by any local authority in the capital.

The package is designed to offer relief and certainty at a time of unprecedented challenge and has been put together following consultation with the borough’s business representatives, including WeAreWaterloo, and following wide discussion with the VCS sector.

The package includes:

  • Rent relief - Three months’ rent free for voluntary and community sector organisations that rent council properties and most businesses (including hairdressers, cafes, restaurants and non-food retail outlets).
     
  • Grants to businesses - Government have announced grants of either £10,000 or £25,000 for businesses who receive Small Business Rate Relief or are in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors. Lambeth are paying these grants directly to businesses who are eligible, and they are doing this before receiving the funding from Government.

    Businesses will now need to complete a form in order to receive funding. To complete the form, businesses will need their unique business rates reference number, (found on any business rates bill), VAT registration number, address of property and business bank details (account number, name and sort code). If you are still unsure of your business rates number, call the Business Rates Team on 020 8315 2255 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. The council will be processing submissions as quickly as possible, but it may take around 7-10 working days for payments to be made. The forms can be found on this page.
  • Business Rates relief - The business rate relief support announced by Government is being applied to accounts automatically. This includes 100% business rate relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for 2020/21.
     
  • Freezing commercial waste charges - For any pub, club or restaurant that requests it.
     
  • Business Task Force - Lambeth have established a Task Force with their seven Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), including WeAreWaterloo, to coordinate a mutually agreed response and working up additional proposals to support local businesses and support the eventual economic recovery effort.
     
  • Emergency Support Scheme - The council has committed an additional £500,000 to provide financial support to the most vulnerable residents who are at immediate risk of financial hardship. The scheme provides those who are experiencing a crisis or emergency with support to buy food and make energy payments.
     
  • Lobbying government -  To support self-employed residents, many of which work in the creative industries in Lambeth, with additional measures to alleviate financial hardship.

Speaking today, Cllr. Jack Hopkins, Leader of Lambeth council said:

“We welcome the Government’s announcements up to now but we believe they do not go far enough. As a result, we have been lobbying hard to make sure that support is rolled out quickly and is extended to self-employed workers immediately. The council considers we must also step in to help.

"This is a time of great anxiety for workers and businesses – but we want our residents, voluntary groups and business community to know that Lambeth council will do everything in our power to help them through this. No other London borough has put together such an ambitious package of help – but if it is needed, we will do more.”

Taken together, the package will invest £1.2 million in local businesses and voluntary groups, providing a lifeline to many in these difficult times and ensuring thriving business and voluntary sectors can bounce back when this crisis recedes.

More information for businesses and VCS groups can be found here.

To reinforce the support the council is offering its community at this challenging time, Lambeth has committed an additional £500,000 to provide financial support to the most vulnerable residents who are at immediate risk of financial hardship. The scheme provides those who are experiencing a crisis or emergency with support to buy food and make energy payments. More information here