Mayor urges Londoners to stay safe as businesses re-open
- Sadiq encourages Londoners to enjoy the capital’s shops, bars, cafes and restaurants – safely
- #LondonIsOpen campaign relaunches, celebrating the businesses that help make London the best city in the world
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today welcomed the imminent re-opening of hospitality, leisure and culture businesses across the capital, but is urging Londoners to act sensibly and respectfully when they are out and about.
Today, Sadiq relaunched his #LondonIsOpen campaign to help kickstart the economy safely, encouraging Londoners to visit their local shops whilst following public health guidance.
The campaign is part of the Mayor’s package of measures to support businesses in the capital as they recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic and take steps to avoid a deadly second wave of the virus.
He has also:
- Invested an additional £1 million into extending business support over the coming 12 months to help small businesses through the crisis and recovery period.
- Committed £2.3 million in grant funding to support London’s cultural and creative industries and night-time economy.
- Launched Pay it Forward London, in partnership with Crowdfunder, allowing Londoners to buy goods and services from businesses ahead of them reopening as lockdown restrictions are eased.
- Established an online Covid-19 support hub offering a range of key online resources.
- Adapted the London Growth Hub business support programme to deliver assistance that is available over the telephone and through online platforms. This support is helping hundreds of businesses each month and is accessible to all employers across inner and outer London.
Although many more businesses will be reopening next week, the short notice given by Government and the small amount of time to implement the subsequent guidance and changes in regulation has presented difficulties.
Businesses, local authorities and other partners are doing all that they can to ensure this next phase of reopening is a success and Sadiq is supporting a range of sectors by using the #LondonIsOpen campaign to showcase the changes that employers - from hairdressers to restaurants, and retailers to bars - have had to make in order to reopen safely.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m delighted that London is open for a haircut, a coffee, a movie and much more from this weekend - providing a huge boost to the businesses that make our city the best in the world, and whose income may have dried up completely during this crisis. But, of course, the safety of Londoners must continue to come first.
“As lockdown eases, our city faces the unprecedented challenge of recovering from the economic impacts of COVID-19, while staying safe. I know Londoners have worked hard and made huge sacrifices to drive down the virus to very low levels, but as we open up again we must not be complacent about the importance of following the public health guidelines. We cannot afford a resurgence in our city.
“The experience of going out will still be very different from what it was before, so I’m urging Londoners to act sensibly and respectfully, ensuring all the health guidelines are followed. Businesses have their part to play too, working with councils, police and other authorities to maintain social distancing and health and hygiene protections. I encourage Londoners to check in advance with venues on any special arrangements they have in place.
“Of course, many parts of the leisure, culture and nightlife sectors must remain closed and will need ongoing support from the Government. These industries are a vital part of the fabric of our city, which is why it’s vital that Londoners act in the right way to help us continue to open additional parts of the economy responsibly, and why Ministers must urgently address the continuing problems with the test and trace system and bring about rapid improvements as people come into closer contact with each other.”
London Policy Chair Federation of Small Businesses, Rowena Howie, said: “Many small businesses in the capital have suffered as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. They have taken unprecedented steps to get their businesses to meet health and safety guidelines and so we must all take the opportunity, safely, to support these independent businesses in their time of need. Spending in small, independent London businesses will enable many jobs and businesses to be saved at this time of economic uncertainty.”
Director of Small Business Saturday, Michelle Ovens MBE, said: "There has never been a more important time for us to support small businesses in the capital, the businesses that keep communities and the economy thriving and those that will be the heart of the recovery. Although there are still hurdles to overcome, it is fantastic to see #LondonIsOpen and we all need to, safely, do what we can to ensure small businesses have the support, skills, information and of course customers to start the road to recovery."