Council leader calls for crowdfunding support to help Havering businesses

Leader of Havering Council, Cllr Damian White. Picture: Havering Council

Leader of Havering Council, Cllr Damian White. Picture: Havering Council - Credit: Archant

Council leader Damian White explains how the authority is doing what it can to help support businesses in the borough and urges residents to help support a new crowdfunding campaign to protect our local business people.

We know that charity and voluntary organisations, providing valued support in our communities, have been harshly impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

To support those who are helping the most vulnerable, we have created an emergency grant initiative, making sure that these small organisations benefit so they can continue delivering vital help.

The Havering Funding Programme enables smaller charities, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises and unregistered charity groups to apply for grants of up to £5,000 of emergency funding.

Up to £75,000 is available for this first round of emergency funding. To support this, the council has now launched an online crowdfunding campaign in partnership with SpaceHive.

We are calling on residents (where able to) to donate to provide additional community support.

This is an extremely difficult time for everyone right now, but businesses are particularly feeling the pressure.

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Local businesses are the backbone of our community, and it is important to me that we do all we can to help and support them through this.

Our business support teams have been working tirelessly to ensure the £40million in support grants from the government reach those businesses in need as quickly as possible. I am proud that to date we have issued more than £14million in grants to businesses in Havering.

Council support continues for our most vulnerable residents. Our free emergency helpline – where residents can ask for food aid, medicines and key support has now helped more than 600 people.

Meanwhile our £2m Emergency Assistance Scheme is on hand to help residents struggling financially through this crisis.

I hope this reassures residents we are doing all we can to get us through this unprecedented time. But we cannot do it alone.

We need to continue to do it together. I would like to thank everyone who continues to follow the government advice for social distancing.

I know it is not easy to stay inside as we enter a warmer season, or to be apart from family, loved ones and friends.

However, we must be strong: stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

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