Local Authorities, Banks and HMRC Support Riot-hit Businesses

Welcome to HackneyA £500-million town-centre regeneration, a free legal helpline and a fund for local authorities are among the business-support schemes launched in the wake of the English riots.

Included in the key measures is a £20-million high-street support scheme announced by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles. Launching the scheme, Pickles said:

“Our priority is to get local communities back on their feet, get businesses up and running again, and make sure nobody is left without a roof over their head. We will stand side by side with communities as they rebuild their lives.”

£10 million to clean up damaged areas has also been pledged. In London, Mayor Boris Johnson has announced a £50-million long-term regeneration fund for riot-damaged areas of the capital.

Insurance companies, banks and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have also pledged to offer rapid help and flexible terms to small businesses affected by the rioting and looting. New help on offer includes:

However, many small businesses find themselves no better off despite the support. Zachar Hussain, owner of the Green Mango café in Ealing, is unable to reopen because of smoke and water damage to the café during the London riots. Hussain said his insurance company had told him he wasn’t sufficiently covered for repairs and replacement equipment, in spite of verbal reassurance.

“They won’t honour it, even though they verbally agreed it with me.”

said Hussain, who is now looking to claim through the Riot Damages Act.

“But that asks you to pay for repairs upfront and claim the costs back.”

The café-owner, who has five employees, said he was now putting his house up for sale at below market rate to get the money;

“It’s my only asset. I’ve got no money coming in at all. All I want is my shop to go back to how it was.”

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