For the most up-to-date and reliable information, please follow the links below for the latest Government updates and advice:
Support for Businesses
Information on how to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans and COVID Corporate Financing Scheme can be found here.
The Government has opened up two new communications channels for business:
HMRC Business Support Helpline – 0800 024 1222
Coronavirus WhatsApp Information Service:
To use this free service, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.
Transport for London
Transport for London is advising the public not to travel unless essential. For live updates, please visit the TfL website.
We will share the latest intelligence, news and data from the Government and industry bodies from relevant sources, both on this page and through our corporate channels. Please also follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for additional links and information.
Resilience in the face of COVID-19 is our main priority and we are focusing our work on four main areas to minimise the impact on the West End’s commercial and cultural wellbeing.
These four areas are to Inform, Monitor, Plan and Respond.
Both the Prime Minister and Health Secretary have Coronavirus but emphasise there will be no changes to Government.
A three-month extension to the filing of business accounts has been announced.
The insolvency system is being altered to allow companies to continue trading and receiving supplies through the restructuring process.
There will be a temporary suspension of wrongful trading rules for company directors, which will be applied retrospectively from 1 March.
Flexibility surrounding annual leave has been announced.
Westminster City Council is postponing all future planning committee meetings until the 14 April, which will take place virtually.
We will continue to monitor the spread of the virus and its implications on our members, so we’re equipped with the latest intelligence to feed into public bodies.
We are hosting a weekly conference call on Wednesdays at 11am, to take your questions and concerns and so we can understand how your business is being affected by the recent COVID-19 outbreak. You can dial in at 11am by phoning our conference line on 0330 336 6006 and using the guest pin code: 885 260 7175
We will also be personally reaching out to members via phone and email. Should you wish to speak to a member of our team, please get in touch and mention it’s concerning Coronavirus.
From immediate mitigation measures to planning for economic recovery, we’re liaising with all levels of government to minimise the impact on the West End and to ensure our members concerns are heard.
We have been working with Nickie Aiken MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, Councillors and the GLA to ensure our members’ concerns are raised. We will continue to partner with major trade bodies to support our members and our high streets– now and into the future through business taxation reform.
Westminster City Council has written to the Chancellor imploring the Government to do all it can to protect businesses in our unique area. Their latest advice and information can be found here.
On Friday 13 March, we wrote to the Chancellor with our partners at New West End Company pushing for business rates relief in these challenging times. On Tuesday 17 March, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor announced a financial rescue package to support businesses throughout the outbreak and to stand them in good stead for economic recovery.
We are working with the Government’s Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group (TIER), so we receive the latest advice and play an active role in shaping the Government’s response: around business support policy, such as possible tax concessions and insurance issues around Coronavirus being classified as a notifiable disease, as it is in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Get in touch if you would like us to raise any specific points or issues, as well as any other business risks.
Our focus is to minimise the virus’ impact on the West End. We will be putting in place appropriate, pro-active marketing measures to alleviate any negative effects on the area, working with our partners to ensure consumers know about everything the West End has to offer.
We will continue to work with the official promotional body, London and Partners, on the #LondonisOpen campaign.
The Visit London channels (and their Chinese equivalents) will share official government advice, and direct travellers to authoritative sources of information. This will be live imminently and updated regularly.