In the aftermath of the riots that hit British cities earlier this month, a group of British companies have teamed with London’s Mayor Boris Johnson and local authorities to launch a fund to grant immediate cash support to help businesses recover quickly after the riots.
Called the High Street Fund, the scheme has an initial fund of 3 million pounds, or $4.9 million, in cash plus 500,000 pounds, or $825,000, from the Mayor of London. Small and local businesses across the U.K. affected by the riots can apply to the fund for a grant, which is designed to “bridge the gap” before the businesses receive insurance payments or other emergency funds.
Businesses including Barclays Bank, BP, outsourcing company Capita, Deloitte, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and Santander have all contributed to the fund, and are also offering support services — Capita, for example, will run a free helpline for businesses. The fund is appealing for more companies and individuals to donate to the scheme. Sir William Castell, chairman of the High Street Fund and chairman the Wellcome Trust said, “This fund is about providing real help to businesses who need help now. Everyone was shocked at the damage caused by the riots and…the hardship is still being felt. 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.”
The fund comes in addition to financial assistance announced by the U.K. government to help businesses and communities recover after the riots.