Borough Market traders will now get coronavirus aid after campaign

Josh Salisbury (04 May, 2020)

Now traders can get up to £25,000 in support after a campaign forced a loophole closure

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Traders at Borough Market have hailed the reversal of a government loophole which means they are now eligible for coronavirus financial aid.

An extra £617m of grants was announced by the government over the weekend to help small businesses struggling with the lockdown.

Previously, those who did not pay business rates – including market traders – were not elgible for the support, leaving some of Borough Market’s best-known names facing financial ruin.

The move came following a campaign by Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP, Neil Coyle.

The market’s managing director, Darren Henaghan, said: “Our traders had effectively fallen through the gaps in the floorboard of the government scheme for small businesses and have suffered considerably as a result.

“Thankfully Neil Coyle was alive to the issue and campaigned to get this loophole closed. We are hugely grateful to him.”

Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark

Mr Coyle said he was glad the government had reversed its position, which means 120 traders are expected to get cash boosts of up to £25,000.

“I am glad the government have listened to my representation,” he said. “The original scheme to help businesses was too narrow in scope and excluded Borough Market traders by ommission.

“Its extension is very welcome and I’m pleased to have helped correct the mistake and ensure more support is put in place for our community.”

The Market has seen a drop of 90 per cent in visitor numbers amid the lockdown, although it continues to trade.

Access is limited to 800 customers and social distancing guidelines are in place, it says.

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