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A message from Chief Executive, Ruth Duston – Omicron Variant

The festive season is here and while the new Omicron variant brings some fresh uncertainty, it’s still thrilling to see our business community and visitors enjoying the build up to Christmas. Restaurants, hotels, shops and theatres are busy, and we are hopeful that the Government’s fast-tracked booster programme will help us get on top of the new variant and keep the recovery moving in the right direction. Our work to support our business community is ongoing, not least with the unveiling our beautiful festive lights and installations across the BID footprints in recent weeks. I hope that we can enjoy the coming weeks with friends, family and colleagues safely – London comes into its own at Christmas and it’s great to see the streets alive with buzz and vibrancy.

We continue to press Government to provide greater clarity on the new COVID restrictions and guidance, and on other big issues such as the climate crisis, Brexit and of course the levelling up agenda.

December kicked off with a dinner we hosted at Two Temple Place for Centre for London, ahead of its annual conference. Levelling up and securing London’s position as the UK’s only global city was the focus for the evening, and it was great to hear from Henri Murison, the Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership. Levelling up is not a zero-sum game. We must think about the challenges we face holistically, allocating resources based on need and not geography. Collaborative working between regions, businesses and policy makers is vital if we are to emerge from the pandemic stronger and on a steady footing for growth. In the coming months I want to champion this more collegiate approach between London and other major cities and regions for the mutual benefit of us all.

So, 2022 is already shaping up to be a busy year – COVID recovery remains a key priority but there are other issues we are determined to tackle too, to ensure we can continue to create the optimum environment for business growth. I am looking forward to what we can achieve together next year. For now though, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and here’s to a happy and healthy new year for all of us.