Tower Hamlets Labour is proposing a motion to support small businesses at a meeting of the Tower Hamlets Council on Wednesday 5th October as escalating energy bills and the current economic turmoil have a devastating impact on their income.

The motion notes that small businesses in Tower Hamlets are only recently recovering from the long term effects of the lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and now the skyrocketing increase in energy bills are causing these businesses severe hardship.

The motion calls on the Mayor to immediately set up a small business hardship fund to help small businesses in the borough in these times of economic crisis, and provide business rates relief to small businesses to help offset the huge increase in the cost of energy bills. Tower Hamlets Labour also pushes for the Council to work with the local Chambers of Commerce, community groups and business networks to establish a long-term plan going forward on how to protect local businesses.

 

Leader of the Tower Hamlets Labour Group, Cllr Sirajul Islam, who proposed the motion, said:

“The energy bill crisis was causing devastation across our borough affecting both small businesses and residents, and now things have gone even worse due to the reckless actions of the Conservative Government whose priority in these times of need is to protect the wealthy.

 “Urgent action is needed from Tower Hamlets Council to protect our small businesses during these uncertain economic times. Mayor Rahman and his Aspire Group voted no to Tower Hamlets Labour’s motion in July on an Emergency Budget to help our local residents. I hope he changes his mind and supports these important proposals to help our local businesses.”

 

Cllr Sabina Akhtar, who seconded the motion, said:

“The Cost of Living Crisis is hitting Tower Hamlets hard and our local residents and communities rely on small businesses in the borough for vital services and local jobs. It is vital that the measures in this motion are immediately adopted – both at a Government level and at a Local Authority level – to ensure our small businesses are not forced to close.”

 

Full Text of the Opposition Motion for Debate in Support of Small Businesses in the face of the Energy Bill Crisis

Proposed by: Cllr Sirajul Islam

Seconded by: Cllr Sabina Akhtar

 

This Council notes:

  • The devastating impact the huge energy bills increase has had on small businesses across the borough, where many are now concerned that they will have to close due to the unreasonable cost.
  • Small businesses are only recently recovering from the long term effects of the lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The loss of small businesses across our borough will have a very negative affect on the local economy and residents who are already struggling in the face of the Cost of Living Crisis.

This Council believes:

  • It is vital that innovative measures are immediately adopted – both at a Government level and at a Local Authority level – to support local businesses in the face of the Cost of Living Crisis, so local businesses, local jobs and local high streets are protected to benefit local residents.

This Council resolves to:

  • Request the Mayor:
    • Immediately set up a Small Business Hardship Fund to help small businesses in the borough in these times of economic crisis.
    • Provide Business Rates relief to small businesses to help offset the huge increase in the cost of energy bills.
  • Work with the local Chambers of Commerce, community groups and business networks to establish a plan going forward on how to protect local businesses.
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