A further nationwide High Street Fund has been set up to help small business affected by the riots that hit England this month.
A coalition of businesses and London boroughs, supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson, have clubbed together to create the charitable fund that aims to offer immediate cash support to smaller businesses affected in the riots.
The fund comprises £3m cash funding as well as £500,000 from the Mayor, which will be ring-fenced for businesses in London. Support services will also be offered from businesses including Barclays, BP, Capita, Deloitte, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and Santander.
The London Boroughs of Barnet, Bexley, Croydon, Merton, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Richmond, Haringey, Enfield and City of London have all contributed to the fund.
The High Street Fund, which hopes that more businesses and individuals will donate, is aimed at helping businesses carry out repairs, replace stock, and return to trading.
This fund comes on top of the £50m fund already announced by the Mayor and in addition to the £20m High Street Recovery Scheme created by the Government.
To qualify for funding, a business owner will need to explain what has happened to his or her business, how it happened, and how assistance from the High Street Fund will help get them back on their feet.
Claims can be made using a form that can be downloaded from the High Street Fund’s website – www.thehighstreetfund.co.uk .Claims will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and can be submitted from Friday 26 August.
There will also be a freephone helpline, 0800 093 5858, provided by Capita.
The Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed the fund.
He said: “The High Street Fund is a great example of British business putting something back.
“Big companies are helping smaller ones affected by the riots to get back on their feet and prosper once again. I want to thank all the companies involved for taking part.”
Chairman of the High Street Fund and chairman the Wellcome Trust Sir William Castell said: “This fund is about providing real help to businesses who need help now.
“The High Street Fund will be the channel for the British business community to rally round and aid smaller businesses caught up in the disturbances.”
High Street Fund trustee and Barclays vice chairman Naguib Kheraj said: “The recent riots have had a devastating impact on many businesses and people and we want to play our part in rebuilding the local communities affected.
“We are doing that directly with our clients and customers by providing emergency overdraft facilities and offering payment breaks for business or mortgage customers. We believe that The High Street Fund will offer complementary, broader direct support to local businesses at the heart of these communities.
“We urge other businesses to follow our lead and help restore our local communities.”