Corona Virus – City Of London Information Sources

The City of London is doing what it can to ease the economic pain of complying with corona vius strictures.  For information on local support for businesses, up to date, please go directly to – – but a quick summary includes:

Business rates relief and grants for small businesses. The government has announced retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will not need to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. We will be applying this automatically to businesses in the City of London, you do not need to apply.

A grant scheme has also been announced by central government to assist Small Businesses with a rateable value of up to £51,000. The two schemes are detailed below:

  • A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  • A £10,000 grant will be provided to businesses currently eligible for Small business rate relief (SBBR) to help meet their ongoing business costs.

The City Revenues Team will issue payments directly to those businesses that qualify and no application will be required. Further information is available on our Business Rates page.​

Rental relief for City of London businesses. The City of London Corporation has agreed to make rental payments more manageable for its smaller business tenants as they deal with the financial strain of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The City Corporation’s Property Investment Board has agreed to change rental payments for the March to June quarter to monthly billing for directly managed premises. This replaces the current quarterly billing scheme and makes rental obligations more manageable for City Corporation tenants.

Please be sure to check the COVID-19: guidance for employers and businesses from the Government for the latest updates. Businesses should check for daily updates and subscribe to receive email alerts to ensure they are acting on the most up to date information.

City Of London & Corona Virus


These are unprecedented times and there will be anxiety across the City – at a personal as well as a business level.

But we have seen difficult times before and have come through them by working together.

It is this same spirit of community, resilience and support which we are seeing as we respond together to the threat of COVID-19.

And we want the residents, workers and visitors to the City of London to know we at the City of London Corporation will do everything we can to help.

We will maintain critical functions and services for our communities.

We will support our vulnerable friends and neighbours.

We will work with all the front-line agencies to deal with this crisis.

And we will maintain confidence in this vibrant, thriving, dynamic and diverse City.

Of course, some of our major facilities may be closed temporarily, some of our events postponed and we will have fewer face-to-face meetings.

Some of the help we now give will be provided by modern technology and remote working rather than by hand.

But we will be supporting the City, to help employees, businesses and the financial system.

We will be sustaining our work on long-term competitiveness, for example by continuing our climate action work.

And we will be speeding the recovery so we are ready, whenever the moment comes, to relaunch a full and strong economy.

This is a crisis which will require the whole of our capital, and indeed the whole of our country, to work together.

We are very grateful to all those who are working so hard to keep essential services going.

We know these will be difficult and even unhappy times for many of our communities and businesses.

But the fundamental strengths of London will help us to recover and rebuild, as we have done before.

London will always be one of the world’s leading financial centres, a city of global talent with a highly-skilled workforce and more international HQs than any other European city.

The timezone that spans Asia and North America will not change.

And we will always be a city with thousands of pubs, hundreds of art galleries, more than 200 museums, beautiful open spaces and four UNESCO World Heritage sites.

This City has come through difficult times in the past but there are good reasons for a quiet confidence.

The City of London Corporation has always played its part in dealing with past crises.

Working together, we will do so again.


Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

Useful links

COVID-19: latest information and advice

COVID-19 Symptoms

Public Health England guidance for Employers and Business

PHE guidance on self-isolation

COVID-19: What is self-isolation and why is it important?

Self-isolation advice

NHS 111  telephone service or online assessment.

Employee Assistance Programme: 0800 0305 182

For more information please contact:

Nathan Rodgers

Media Officer

City of London Corporation

020 7332 3451

City Corporation Supports Businesses Through COVID-19 Outbreak

Businesses in the Square Mile are being urged to take advantage of measures announced in the Budget to support them through the COVID-19 pandemic, with the City of London Corporation pledging to support firms struggling as a result of the current outbreak.

The Chancellor announced a number of changes in the Budget on Wednesday designed to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular, including some that directly impact on business rates.

The City Corporation is awaiting confirmation from central Government on exactly how the reliefs will be applied. However, the following additional assistance has been announced:

  • An increase to the planned rates discount for pubs from £1,000 to £5,000 for 2020
  • A 100% reduction in 2020/21 for businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors where they have a rateable value below £51,000
  • Cash grants of £3,000 to very small businesses with rateable values below £15,000

As a result of these exceptional measures some qualifying businesses or organisations may receive a bill that will require an update for the 2020/21 financial year.

The City Corporation will contact all those likely to be affected by these changes once the exact details of how the reliefs are to be applied is known. Any businesses affected or with queries about their rates should contact

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, said:

“We recognise that businesses based in the Square Mile are facing difficult trading conditions as a result of the current outbreak. The Chancellor rightly set out steps to support households and businesses, particularly SMEs, in the Budget earlier this week. We will contact those businesses covered by these changes and urge those facing genuine hardship to get in touch.”

Jeremy Mayhew, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Finance Committee, said:

“In these testing times, it is vital that those businesses facing real difficulties are supported. The measures announced in the Budget were a positive step, particularly for SMEs. We will continue to work with businesses based in the Square Mile to offer as much support as possible.”

The City of London was home to 23,890 businesses in 2019, with 99% of these firms classified as SMEs. There were also around 1,000 new start-ups in the Square Mile last year.

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

2019-nCoV Advice

The UK government has circulated this link – – to advise the public on how to prevent spread of 2019–nCoV infection, what symptoms to look for, and what to do if you become unwell in a variety of settings.  The guidance covers the following topics:

  1. Preventing spread of infection
  2. Actions on return from China
  3. Symptoms and what to do
  4. Feeling unwell while away from home
  5. Travel to countries outside China that have 2019-nCoV cases
  6. Cleaning shared spaces



Brexit Ready?

Advice and resources on how your business can prepare for the UK leaving the EU

Brexit checklist for businesses

The British Chambers of Commerce has put together a Business Brexit Checklist, to help businesses plan for Brexit.

The CBI has also published a report to advise businesses on No Deal planning.

Government advice on preparing for Brexit

The Government has also published advice on what businesses should do to Get ready for Brexit.

Employer Toolkit for businesses which employ EU nationals

The Home Office has published an Employer Toolkit which covers the key details of the EU Settlement Scheme, information and materials with which to support affected staff and their families.

Brexit Business Resource Hub

The London Growth Hub and the Mayor of London have launched the Brexit Business Resource Hub to bring together resources to help firms plan, and map areas of their business affected by Brexit.

FSB advice for small businesses

The Federation of Small Businesses also has advice specifically for SMEs.

What we are doing on Brexit

To find out more on what the City of London Corporation has been doing on Brexit.

City Hall

As part of their #LondonIsOpen campaign, City Hall has created a EU Londoners Hub detailing what there is to know about Brexit and how to prepare for it.

June Newsletter – Dutch Church, Austin Friars’ – Dutch Hidden Gem

We’re delighted to have a guest author for our six monthly ward newsletter –  Rev. Bertjan van de Lagemaat, Minister of the Dutch Church.

Broad Street Ward News – 2019 June

The newsletter covers the fascinating role the Church plays in our ward and City community, as well as their most successful Kingsday.

Threee Into One

London has always been a city of commerce and a city of food.  The City of London Corporation’s wholesale markets, Billingsgate, Smithfield and New Spitalfields, have been at its heart for centuries and have adapted to the City’s changing needs for generations.  The City Corporation now has an opportunity to bring all three markets together for the first time at Dagenham in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham to ensure that they can continue to serve future generations.

We welcome your comments at this important moment for the markets to ensure the proposals reflect the needs of customers and stakeholders.  Give your opinion here.

Further Background

On 25 April, a decision was taken for the City Corporation to move ahead with a proposal to consolidate the three wholesale markets, to a new site at Dagenham Dock.

Following the decision, an initial public consultation to seek the views of a wider range of stakeholders on the principle of consolidating the markets, the City Corporation’s vision and the preferred option in Dagenham will launch today and will close on Tuesday 6 August 2019. A consultation portal dedicated to the consolidation of the markets is now live at and stakeholders can submit a consultation response online.

In early July, The Museum of London will launch its public consultation on the latest new museum plans for West Smithfield ahead of submitting a planning application at the end of the year. The consultation will consist of two displays, one on site at London Wall and one on site in Catering Meats/Unit 307 at West Smithfield, showing the latest architectural visuals and the most recent plans for the museum.

If you are interested in finding out more about this project, you would be particularly welcome at a senior stakeholder drop-in session being held from 6.00pm to 9.00pm on 4 July in Smiths of Smithfield. The plans will be on show and it is an opportunity to meet the project and design teams.

King’s Day Comes To UK

We were so delighted to see the Dutch Church and Dutch Centre celebrating King’s Day with a Friday, 26 April, evening event and a street market from 14:00 on Saturday, 27 April –

King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Máxima

There were opportunities to have stalls and displays.  And let’s not forget that King Willem-Alexander celebrated his 52nd birthday, giving us an excuse to post a royal photo (learnt that from the Daily Mail!).

The day itself was fantastic.  1,200 people turned up.  There was a great selection of food, beer, and genever.  Children had a great time completing a series of games.  And of course now there are plans for next year – an instant City of London tradition begins.



Much Bennett Esteem (MBE)

We are delighted to announce that our distinguished Deputy, John Alfred Bennett, was awarded an MBE in the New Year‘s Honours List:

“Lately Chairman, Board of Governors, Guildhall School of Music and Drama. For services to the City of London and Education.”

We extend our sincere congratulations to him for recognition of his many years of civic work, moreover his recent work as Chief Commoner (see year in photos here).

Consultation – City Plan 2036 & City Transport Strategy

The City of London Corporation is consulting on two important policy documents setting out proposals for the future development of the City.

City Plan 2036

The City Corporation’s draft Local Plan, City Plan 2036, contains policies on a wide range of topics relevant to the planning and development of the City, including offices, housing, open space and greening, shops, culture and community services.

You can view the full document by visiting Comments can be submitted via the website or by writing to The Local Plan consultation will close on 28 February 2019.

Transport Strategy

The City Corporation’s draft Transport Strategy sets out proposals for the design and management of the City’s streets over the next 25 years to ensure the Square Mile remains a great place to live, work and visit.

You can view and respond to the Transport Strategy proposals by visiting The Transport Strategy consultation will close on 13 January 2019.