Dear Chancellor, RE: Support for Businesses operating from Warehouses
I am writing to you regarding access to grant support for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the announcement of the Government’s business schemes, including grant schemes and loans, I have taken several steps to help businesses; I have secured cross-party backing from MPs representing all four nations of the UK for expansions of the grant schemes, I have brought to your attention the issues faced by self-employed business owners and I have personally written to over 5,000 local Brent businesses. Many businesses have been in contact with me after being rejected for the grant scheme as they operate their businesses out of warehouses, business parks or similar places of work. These businesses are finding that councils are rejecting them as they're registered as a ‘Warehouse and Premises’ and therefore do not meet the criteria for the Expanded Retail Discount scheme. These businesses, form vital parts of the retail supply chain for our commercial high streets and many operate stores directly from within their premises. I'm sure that you will agree that these businesses will form an integral role in securing the recovery of our countries economy and must be given appropriate support to survive the pandemic. I am privileged to have many business parks, including Park Royal, in my constituency. Park Royal is the largest business park in the UK, which not only supply’s one-third of all food consumed in London but provides tens of thousands of jobs for the local community. We must do our utmost to protect these jobs, many companies are already beginning to feel the adverse effects of the Coronavirus, with some already regrettably closing their doors permanently. Therefore, following extensive consultation with local Brent businesses, I urgently call on the Government to:
- Ensure that businesses operating out of a “Warehouse and Premises” are eligible to receive the Government’s grant schemes.
- Ensure that all businesses who supply the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure industry are eligible to receive the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme.
- Ensure that all businesses who supply the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure industry are eligible to receive the business rates relief.
As I have made clear, I welcome the measures that the Government has introduced, however, as I have set out in my letter, it is clear that we need to go further to ensure that we adequately support these vital areas of our business sector. Thank you for your consideration of these matters and I look forward to your response shortly. Warm regards, Dawn Butler MP