Covid-19: How are businesses in Waltham Forest responding to Covid-19?

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Covid-19 newsletter: Businesses and the self-employed 

Walthom Forest
business newsletter

Rates and grants: important update

Over previous weeks, the government announced that certain businesses would be exempt from business rates in 2020/21 and would be eligible for a government grant (subject to state aid regulations).  

Rate relief: Waltham Forest businesses who qualify for these reliefs have started to receive updated bills confirming exemption from rates. If you believe you are due this exemption but have not received a revised bill by 3 April, please visit our website and complete the application form

Grants: Final government guidance on administering grants has now been shared with the council. Eligible businesses (those in receipt of small business rate relief and businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000) will be contacted by the council shortly. We understand the importance of these grants to businesses and are working as quickly as possible to make them available. 

From Monday, we should have the systems in place to enable eligible businesses to supply the necessary details to make payment. Please look out for a further announcement.

Please also beware of third parties offering to apply for these grants on your behalf for a fee. The claims process is free, straightforward and only requires you to provide information already available to you. Businesses should not need to pay third parties for making claims which can easily be made themselves.

Full information on government support for businesses

Advice and support for charities is set out here. 

How are businesses in Waltham Forest responding to Covid-19?


These are tough times for businesses nationwide and the need for resilience, adaptability and community support has never been more vital.

In Waltham Forest, the spirited response to the Covid-19 outbreak has been a source of inspiration. All over the borough, businesses are reacting to the situation by finding creative ways to continue operating and adopting altruistic approaches to assist those in need. 

Stoicism and resolve have been shown in numerous ways. Below, we highlight some of the positive stories from the last few weeks.


LT Removals

L&T Removals used vehicles from the company’s fleet to deliver shopping to local vulnerable people who might be older or unwell. Company bosses paid their drivers for assisting people.

East of Eden, Yonder, The Body People, The Underdog Gym and HIITE17 are just some of the yoga and fitness studios to be running online exercise and other fitness classes on platforms such as Skype and Zoom.

Hornbeam Café on Hoe Street, PL84U in Wood Street and Blackhorse Road Baptist Church are among the venues to have opened their doors as drop-off points to replenish food bank reserves, as part of Waltham Forest’s Mutual Aid networks’ campaign. Households were asked to donate five items of non-perishable food each for the #fiveitemsfortheforest campaign.

The Mall distributed 10 ‘Essential Shopping Bags’ to members of the community in need, with help to identify those with the greatest need from the Mutual Aid Networks. The bags were made up of supermarket staples such as sugar, tea, biscuits, noodles and other household items donated by Asda.

Signature Brew  in Blackhorse Lane has devised its ‘The Pub in a Box’ concept - a delivery package including beers, bar snacks and pub quiz materials.

Many food and drink outlets are following government guidelines and offering delivery only services. These have been handily curated on platforms such as My Virtual Neighbourhood and Poppy Loves.


Leyton Orient sign

KuKooLala Café in Leyton Jubilee Park has developed a website in response to the Covid19 crisis, where local businesses can advertise and deliver services to the community. It includes a multilingual forum which seeks to inspire a sense of community and advice on how to access public services and support.

Leyton Orient FC found an ingenious way to comfort fans missing their football fix: by setting up an online tournament of computer game Fifa 20. Using the Twitter platform #UltimateQuaranTeam, the planned 64-team competition soon doubled in size and attracted Premier League giants Manchester City, as well as other big European teams such as Ajax.

Retailers are offering delivery services: Gravity Well Brewery is delivering beer and Marmelo Kitchen is processing orders for fruit and veg boxes. Meatlove Butchers is among the other food outlets in Leyton to be offering a home delivery service, which also includes fruit and veg.


wild goose

Wild Goose Bakery is working in partnership with Leytonstone Food Bank on a platform where residents can purchase a “support care package - with home delivery for vulnerable residents, including those who are sick, older, single parent families or just those self-isolating.

Yard Sale Pizza (also in Walthamstow) is crowdfunding to send free pizzas to London’s NHS workers (including at Whipps Cross Hospital).

For delivery services, Leytonstone Mini Market is working hard to process orders for drinks and groceries to people's houses, while wine shops Burgess and Hall and TBC are also delivering.


Shaw’s Butchers has pivoted its business to deliver its products to the homes of older people – and is taking orders by phone.

Mount Cars is offering its services to those who may need to do an essential shop but can't get there easily on foot or bike.

Highams Park

Wine shops Halex Vinoteca and Vinoramica are running wine delivery services.

Lotus Yoga are streaming classes online. 

Care workers needed

 We are looking for residents, volunteers and people wanting to get back into caring who may be looking for short-term paid work to sign up to join our team of care and support workers to help in the fight against coronavirus.

To express an interest please email with your name, postcode and a contact number. We are a London Living Wage Employer.

More information here

Further advice and support


The Council’s website provides a guide to what’s available based on your circumstances and further information on the full range of government business advice, including its COVID-19 response, can be found here. 

Support for businesses from Outside of Government can be found here. 

The London Growth Hubhas produced fact sheets and a business checklist, that businesses may also find useful, and is providing the opportunity to talk one-to-one with a business adviser. 

Sign up and Stay Connected

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We will continue to update you as new information is available. We know that this is a fast-moving situation, but we are confident staff will continue to provide support and guidance to local businesses in Waltham Forest.

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