Heart of London Hosts Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

Heart of London Hosts Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

On Wednesday 16 June, Ros Morgan, Chief Executive of Heart of London Business Alliance, hosted the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in a visit to members in the West End.

The Mayor met with three of our businesses, including Jeremy King at his iconic restaurant, The Wolseley, artisan cheesemonger, Paxton & Whitfield and the oldest book shop in the UK, Hatchard’s.

The visit comes at a critical time, given the impact of Government continuing with the plans to reduce financial support for businesses at the end of June despite the continuing of COVID restrictions announced this week.

Under current Government plans businesses face a perfect storm at the end of June of a reduction in the business rates holiday and contributing more to the furlough scheme.

Alongside Heart of London Business Alliance and UK Hospitality, the Mayor is urging the Government to continue with its full package of financial support for businesses beyond the end of June – until the final lifting of restrictions. This includes a further extension to the 100 per cent business rates holiday and the existing furlough scheme.

The Heart of London area still has 44 per cent less footfall compared to normal levels in 2019 – whether as a result of office workers still working at home, or the huge drop off in international tourism that will continue throughout the year.

City Hall analysis shows that consumer spending in central London by overseas tourists was £7.4 billion lower throughout 2020, and with restrictions in international travel remaining in place, such huge levels of spending from international visitors are unlikely to return soon. That’s why the Mayor’s first act after his re-election was to launch #Let’sDoLondon, the biggest domestic tourism campaign the capital has ever seen, working with organisations from across the capital to encourage visitors back to London’s world-class hospitality, retail, culture and tourism venues.

Heart of London supports the Mayor’s campaign to urge people to come and experience the very best London’s amazing venues have to offer, making the most of the current opportunity to come for a day out without the queues that international visitors would usually bring.

Ros Morgan, Chief Executive at Heart of London Business Alliance said:

“It was fantastic to meet with the Mayor in the West End today and to visit our members from the hospitality and retail sectors, which have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic.

We are proud to partner with the Mayor on his Let’s Do London campaign and we look forward to working with him and his team to drive the recovery of the area.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said:

“It was wonderful to be in the Piccadilly area today visiting some of the shops and hospitality venues that make our city so special. It will be iconic venues such as Hatchard’s, The Wolseley and Paxton & Whitfield that will drive London’s economic recovery, and help attract the visitors back to our city that we need more than ever.”

Jeremy King, Co-Founder and CEO at Corbin & King said:

“I was very much reassured by my meeting with the Mayor and Heart of London Business Alliance. I am glad to see that the Mayor is engaging with issues that, unless addressed, could impair London’s recovery from the ravages of the pandemic – a good example being that of reverting Congestion Charge to its original hours and no longer for the evenings and weekends.”

Hero Hirsh, Head of Retail at Paxton & Whitfield said:

“As a heritage London business and the UK’s oldest cheesemonger, Paxton & Whitfield, we’re delighted to have the support of the Mayor of London and Heart of London Business Alliance with the Let’s Do London campaign to encourage domestic tourism. Our capital has so much to offer and we are excited to welcome visitors old and new to our shops in St James and Chelsea.”