COVID-19: Latest Updates

The Covid-19 virus is having a global impact on all of us. We are following official advice and taking the health precautions recommended, while actively working with our members and the authorities.

New West End Company’s top focus at this stage is to manage and minimise the impact of the virus on West End businesses and their employees. It is both a health and economic emergency.

Support & Relief

We have worked closely with national and local trade bodies and businesses to campaign the Government to take neccessary measures to support cashflow for businesses during the pandemic. We were pleased that the Chancellor’s business package, now available to access, covered the four points below:

  • A 12-month business rate holiday for the retail, hospitality and leisure industries has removed a major fixed cost.  
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where the government will meet up to 80% of employee salaries up to £2,500 per month. 
  • A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme.
  • VAT payments deferral for 3 months. 

The Government has launched a dedicated website to guide businesses through the different schemes, providing information on the different financial support packages for businesses. You can see the website here:

View the Coronavirus Business Support Website

Security and Street Management

New West End Company is still providing 24 hour security across the district, supporting our operational members and ensuring the security of those stores that have temporarily closed. Our Security Team is still running at full capacity, and our overnight Dog Patrol services remain fully functional. You can contact the Security Team on 07900 738 810 or at security@newwestend.com

In the wake of criminal activity in the district, we have increased investment and tripled our night dog patrol services. We would urge businesses to listen to the Metropolitan Police Service’s advice on empty commercial premises and ensure that valuable stock is kept hidden from view. Click here to see the full guidance. 

Vacant Commercial Property Maintenance

In light of the advice from Government and Public Health England to close premises, West End businesses should ensure premises are properly secured and they should use reasonable endeavours so far as consistent with that advice to comply with their operational and statutory obligations under their lease. In line with good estate management practise, please ensure that you provide maintenance records at the appropriate frequency for the below as and where applicable in line with your lease:

  • Fire alarm testing and certification
  • Sprinkler testing and certification
  • Emergency light testing
  • Annual portable fire extinguisher certification
  • Fire risk assessment
  • Water risk assessment
  • Periodic electrical test and inspection reports

Key Government & Business Support Links

Please see below links to the latest Government information and advice on Coronavirus:

Helping Frontline Staff and the Westminster Community

New West End Company is coordinating the efforts of West End businesses in supporting the frontline staff providing critical services and offering vital support to those who are vulnerable, ill and self-isolating. If your business can support by donating any food, groceries or toiletries, please contact Nicola.Gibson@newwestend.com

§Westminster Connects has been created to recruit and connect volunteers with those in need of help during the coronavirus outbreak. Residents and organisations can contact the Westminster Connects team by emailing westminsterconnects@westminster.gov.uk or via the City Council’s website.

dedicated phone number is available for individuals who may need help or for people who know of anyone in need of help as a result of COVID-19: 020 7641 1222, available from 8am to 10pm seven days a week.

We would also urge businesses to aid the Council in any way that they can. Please see below a number of ways that businesses can aid frontline and NHS workers during this difficult time:

  • Westminster City Council have a request for businesses following an increase in enquiries for key workers to be able to park in Westminster. If your business has any parking spaces available that you can offer to frontline workers, please email details to anas.wihaib@newwestend.com
  • The City Council are also asking for any donations of personal protection equipment (PPE) for frontline staff. If any business has any PPE available from closed businesses, including face masks, gloves, overshoes, hairnets and aprons, please email details to anas.wihaib@newwestend.com
  • CBRE is assisting the NHS on its immediate need for additional premises and parking facilities. They are identifying suitable vacant properties within close proximity to an NHS or Private Hospital which could be occupied by the NHS for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, the greatest needs are car parking, overnight beds for staff and storage facilities within a 15 minute walk of an NHS hospital. If your business can help, please email nhs@cbre.com

Mon 16 March 2020