Croydon businesses will benefit from an extra £2.6m after the council successfully distributed another round of support grants to those impacted by Covid-19 lockdowns, bringing the total allocated to £93m since the start of the pandemic.
Croydon Council secured the £2,674,867 top-up grant from government after allocating £11m in discretionary grants to 4,738 Croydon businesses ahead of the 30 July deadline. Aimed at helping local businesses who missed out on other lockdown support, the discretionary funding comes on top of the £82 million the council has allocated in mandatory grants since the start of the pandemic.
The council will now use the extra £2.6m funding to deliver a programme of targeted support to help Croydon’s economy recover from the pandemic, helping businesses across the borough to build their resilience and grow.
On Monday (16 August) the council’s cabinet is set to consider a range of proposed grants from this £2.6m fund. These proposals range from an innovation grant for applicants who can get match funding to money for creative businesses looking to boost their post-lockdown recovery and support Croydon’s role as London Borough of Culture 2023.
The proposals also include grants to be shared among local business representatives, from dozens of Croydon-based Black, Asian or ethnic minority business owners to London Road traders and the Business Improvement Districts in Croydon, New Addington and Purley.
If cabinet approves the proposed funding pots, there will also be grants so workspace providers can support start-up companies looking for affordable business premises.
The allocation of grant funding is part of a comprehensive package of support Croydon Council is providing to Croydon businesses throughout the pandemic. The Love Croydon, Shop Local campaign celebrates the best of the borough’s high streets and encourages everyone to join the council in supporting their local shops as much as they can. Highlights have included working with businesses to revitalise district centres with new signage; a dedicated team of information officers on the ground to provide advice on reopening; and 7,000 businesses provided with weekly updates on the latest guidance and support.
Speaking to Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed during a recent visit to Central Parade in New Addington, Ken Burgess, who runs Burgess Boys Pet Care Centre and leads the local Business Improvement District, said: “It was absolutely essential that the businesses received support, and indeed they did. We, as a business partnership, worked tirelessly from the moment lockdown occurred, working with the council. We’re extremely grateful for the work that you put into it, and the speed with which you got the money out to our members – they would not have survived otherwise. Some of them are still struggling, so more funding would be beneficial if we can get it.”
“Throughout Covid-19 we have done and continue to do everything we can to back Croydon’s businesses, from swiftly allocating £93m in grants that have been a lifeline, to encouraging our communities to support them through Love Croydon, shop local.
“Restrictions may be lifting but the economic impact of the pandemic has been devastating and will be felt by our businesses for very a long time – that’s why it’s vital that we all get behind them. The extra funding the council has secured will help us to continue to support the recovery of our town and district centres, and set Croydon on the path of growth once again.”
Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed, cabinet member for communities, safety and business recovery