Ealing pays out nearly £68m in government financial aid to businesses

Ealing Council has paid out nearly its total amount of £68.2m in financial aid that it was allocated by the government to local businesses across the borough.

Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “We have also gone a step further by introducing measures to allow some non-qualifying businesses to defer their business rate payments.

“Sadly, we know that this is not enough to mitigate the huge disruption caused to our businesses. The situation is particularly dire for those businesses who are unable to access any of the support that has been made available and there is very real threat of businesses and livelihoods being irreversibly damaged or lost as a result.”

In Ealing, almost 6,500 business ratepayers will not be able to access the government support. There are also 1,800 self-employed limited company businesses and 440 businesses in the creative, arts and cultural sectors who cannot receive any benefit.

“As local employers, these businesses are part of Ealing’s social and economic fabric,” says Councillor Bell. “They also bring innovation and diversity to the UK’s economic growth and productivity. We must act now if we are to ensure their survival.”

Ealing In London will also be backing the national #RaiseTheBar campaign which seeks to increase the rateable value threshold for the small business support grant.

One business that is being affected is Braybrook and Britten an independent, online, silversmith jewellers, who have been based in Ealing for the last 25 years.

John Langford, director, said: “We are seeing 30% of the business that we would expect to see at this time of year.” To put it more starkly, “To break even on average we need to take £1200 a day and we now taking between £60 and 70 a day.”

The company have had to furlough their three staff and are operating on a greatly reduced level. However, they have been able to benefit from the government’s rate relief package of measures and the job retention scheme for staff. Speaking about the government’s financial aid packages that it announced and the way that Ealing Council dealt with the payment of these, John said:

“When we found out that we had got the 100% rate relief it was a godsend. The rate relief will help because firms like us don’t run with a lot of fat around us, and it now stops quite so much cash having to be spent. We also received a £25k grant which will provide us with a source to pay salaries due. If Ealing Council hadn’t moved so quickly there was no way that we could have paid those salaries.

Ealing Council are also asking all businesses in the borough to take part in an online business survey to assess the impact of COVID-19.