13 February 2018
Businesses located on the estate where the Grenfell Tower stands have been given extra support by Kensington and Chelsea Council (RBKC) in recognition of the disruption to services caused by the fire last summer.
Around 40 companies are to receive compensation of up to 50 per cent on their rent and service charges for the next two months. It follows an 8-month rent holiday to commercial tenants at the Baseline Studios on the Lancaster West estate, worth close to £200,000. Business rate relief worth an additional £25,000 has also been provided.
Among the companies to be supported by the council is an accountancy business, children’s clothing enterprise, a florist, graphic designers and a specialist mosquito repellent company.
Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Kim Taylor Smith, said: "I'm pleased that we've been able to help local businesses to get back on their feet and I'm committed to continuing to do all I can to help the community recover.
“Alongside residents, schools and services, we have always said we stand shoulder to shoulder with local companies affected by the fire. We hope today’s announcement will offer continued reassurance to commercial owners that we’re here for them – as well as encourage those in north Kensington to shop locally to support small businesses in the borough.”
A number of owners of commercial enterprises were unable to access their premises as they were within the area cordoned off as the emergency services dealt with the fire and its aftermath. Many who have struggled have been able to claim from a £250,000 fund, provided by the council, Mayor for London and central government.
The money covered expenses such as loss of earning, equipment, sales and payments to suppliers. In addition, an £80,000 fund has been set up to help businesses affected in the wider area.
William Anderson, owner of recording firm Samurai Sound, said: "Not only has this helped us get through the difficult times, it has also helped us build the business up and become more established in the local community, as we've been able to offer free workshops for local people to come together and do something creative."
The two-month 50% compensation package for commercial tenants on the Lancaster West estate will be followed by a further six months of relief at 25% until September 2018.