Message to our businesses and self-employed

Wednesday 1 April 2020

Dear business owner or self-employed resident, 

Thank you for making such a valuable contribution to our local economy in Kensington and Chelsea. You and your businesses are so important to our community and local economy. I want to reassure you that it is a priority for the Council to do what we can to help you retain your livelihoods during this very worrying and challenging time. 

As Lead Member for Skills and Enterprise, I am aware of the excellent range of businesses and talent in this borough. So, I want to make sure that you know about, and are able to access, the support that is out there for you, both from the Government and from the Council. 

We have listed all of the important information for businesses to refer to in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, from finance, to benefits, licensing for food businesses, and support available through other organisations. 

We are listening to what our businesses and self-employed people need and in response to that, so far we have introduced several measures. In the last week we have:  

  • suspended rent invoicing for businesses in Council commercial properties; 
  • suspended rent invoicing for those using storage units we own and let; 
  • and suspended all invoices for those using the Council commercial waste services.  

These measures are all in place for the next three months and we’ll be reviewing them as the pandemic develops.  

Our Portobello and Golborne markets are world-famous and our traders are such a huge asset to our borough. In light of this, and the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having, we have decided to waive rents for permanent traders for the next 12 weeks, to be reviewed in June. 

The key measures provided by Government so far include:  

  • 2020/21 business rates holiday for those within the retail, hospitality and leisure industries and those receiving retail relief;  
  • grants of up to £25,000 for smaller businesses who are eligible for retail relief;  
  • and grants of £10,000 for those in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief. 

We are getting in touch with those who are eligible for the above. If you don’t hear from us and think you are eligible, you can contact covid19businessrates@rbkc.gov.uk.  

Other financial support includes the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, provided by the British Business Bank, through which you can apply for support loans of up to £5 million with the first 12 months of that finance interest free. 

Specifically, for self-employed people, who may not have the same assurances as businesses, the recently announced Self-Employment Income Support Scheme offers a taxable grant worth 80% of your profits up to £2,500 per month for the next three months. The Government has stated that those eligible will be contacted by HMRC and invited to apply online.  

We are here for you and our local economy. If you need to get in touch visit our COVID-19 portal for business information and guidance where you’ll find contact information for a range of services. 

We will continue to update this page and share new information and support available for you, as quickly and efficiently as we can. You and all our residents are our top priority. 

Keep safe,

Catherine 

Cllr Catherine Faulks 

Lead Member for Skills and Enterprise

Hear about these measures in our Twitter video too.