An Update from the Lord Mayor
The Lord Mayor comments on the easing of social and economic COVID-19 restrictions in England.
The easing of social and economic COVID-19 restrictions in England is undoubtably a pivotal moment for businesses and households across the nation.
After many months of hardship, in the City we can now breathe a collective sigh of relief, as workers and visitors start to return to the Square Mile.
I for one look forward to seeing many more people on our streets in the coming weeks as the buzz and energy that defines the City returns. To this extent I will be out and about showing my support by visiting many of our local businesses, including City institutions such as the Ned, Sweetings restaurant and Billingsgate Roman Bathhouse. Churches across the Square Mile are also preparing to mark this pivotal moment with a celebratory ‘ringing of the bells’ on July 31.
A return to normality is extremely welcome as the Square Mile’s economy urgently seeks to bounce back from months of lost trading and support a strong and sustainable recovery.
To be blunt: we need more people back on our streets and their offices. Many workers and businesses are keen to return so that they can collaborate, innovate and socialise in person rather than just over a screen.
That’s why the Court of Common Council – the City of London Corporation’s main decision-making body – has resumed in-person meetings for the first time in over a year, coming together at Guildhall to discuss the organisation’s plans for supporting business as they emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.
This work is essential. In fact over the pandemic we’ve taken a string of measures to help, including a Covid Business Recovery Fund of up to £50 million aimed at qualifying SMEs, which closes on 30 July.
But there is more to be done. The implementation of our Recovery Taskforce launched last year will be fundamental to ensuring that the City remains the world’s most innovative, inclusive and sustainable centre by adapting to post-pandemic economic and social trends.
It is crucial that we enhance the City’s competitiveness and attractiveness to business, focusing on the three key dimensions of the Square Mile’s offer: its world class business ecosystem, its vibrant cultural offer and outstanding environments.
The City of London is now at a crossroads. Traditionally, it has viewed every obstacle as an opportunity for change. Indeed, here in the Square Mile, tradition and change have long gone hand in hand.
Therefore I am fully confident that if we pull together, the aftermath of this pandemic will be an opportunity to take stock, roll up our sleeves and build back better, greener and more sustainably.