On Monday 22 January, the government announced the roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions in England. Please visit the government website for more information.
Message from our Chief Executive
During these uncertain and worrying times we want our members to know that we are here for you and are determined to provide the most up to date information and support via our website, social media channels, weekly COVID-19 conference calls and direct communication with our team members.
I am proud of the fact that we have already made headway on our campaigning and lobbying towards government in support of business rates as well as other key asks. We are engaging daily and partnering with wider West End and National bodies to ensure we bring our suggestions and solutions forward in how we can manage and come out of this stronger together.
On behalf of all of us here we wish you all the best and hope that you, your family and friends stay safe.
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Key Government Advice
For the most up-to-date and reliable information, please follow the links below for the latest Government updates and advice:
General Business Support & Guidance
Government Business Support Website
Coronavirus (COVID‑19) support is available to employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether your business is open or closed.
Use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.
Coronavirus Business Grants
Our local authority, Westminster City Council, is administering two non-discretionary grant schemes and to make payments to businesses from two funding envelopes on a discretionary basis.
To find out if your business is eligible and to apply, click here.
Working Safely During Coronavirus
Find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure. Government has published 14 guides covering a range of different types of work. To access the guidance, click here.
Furlough Scheme Extension
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2020. If you’ve put an employee on furlough, you can claim for some of your employee’s wages for a longer period. Claims for furlough days in December 2020 must be made by 14 January 2021. View the latest updates on the UK Government website.
HMRC Business Support Helpline
The Government has opened a new HMRC Business Support Helpline: 0800 024 1222
Sector Specific Support & Guidance
For guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments, click here.
We’ve had a number of queries come through from members with regards to operations, lobbying and general communications. We will continue to update this section on a regular basis.
Ahead of reopening of the West End of 1 December 2020, we are working closely with the Metropolitan Police Service (Met) and Westminster City Council (WCC) to ensure we have appropriate plans in place across the BID area.
Policing and security
The Met will be re-introducing manned podiums at Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square to provide a visible deterrence to any would-be offenders. Special Constables, Response Team officers and Dedicated Ward Officers will be available throughout re-opening week, working alongside our private security team to enhance visibility in the area.
Our private security team will be increasing their area patrols and rearranging their shift patterns to improve their presence on-street to mitigate concerns of low-level crime, anti-social behaviour and crowding.
Heart of London’s dedicated City Inspector resource continue to be on duty 7 days a week. The City Inspectors will be providing guidance to businesses on queue management. They will also work to ensure the public realm spaces remains clutter free, that the required cleansing standards are maintained, and the public highway remains free of unsightly commercial waste. They will continue to engage with illegal street traders, buskers and street gamblers and take the required enforcement action when this is required. Furthermore, the City Inspectors will continue to engage with the more vulnerable members of our community and ensure that they are receiving the required support from Outreach services.
Our cleaning team will introduce further on-street sanitisation cleansing frequencies, disinfecting touchpoints and surfaces. In addition, our rapid janitorial response team will be available to respond to any on-street cleansing concerns.
Westminster City Council have updated their social distancing queuing guidance for retail, which can be found here. Should your business have any specific event plans or product launches that may possibly cause crowds or crowding, or you anticipate larger numbers than can be managed with appropriate social distancing, please email Robin.email@example.com with as much advance notice as possible to ensure our team are sighted on proposals. You may need to process an event application should the plans have an impact on the public realm.
Please visit the events section for further information.
The Heart of London’s Security team can be reached directly on 07432273388 or 07523901505. In an emergency please call 999 for non-emergency 101.
Should you require any further information, please contact Robin.firstname.lastname@example.org
Both our City Inspectors and security team continue to patrol the area and we are also working closely with the Met Police. This will enable the team to ensure the continued safety and security of employees where businesses are operating with a skeleton staff and to monitor buildings that have been temporarily closed. If you have any particular security concerns, please contact Robin Hibbert, Director of Company Operations Robin.email@example.com
Local authorities have been tasked with administering two non-discretionary grant schemes and to make payments to businesses from two funding envelopes on a discretionary basis. You may therefore visit the Westminster City Council site to check if your business is eligible and to apply.