Shell has today become the latest company to support small businesses affected by the riots with a donation of half a million pounds to the High Street Fund.

The High Street Fund was set up last week by a group of the UK’s leading companies to work with the Mayor of London and local authorities to help businesses across the country recover from the damage caused by the riots in August.

Shell’s support means over £4 million has been pledged towards the fund, all of which will be used to provide immediate help to those small businesses harmed by the events last month. The fund was kick-started by a £500,000 initial commitment from the Mayor of London.

With applications for funding now coming in from around the country and claims now being paid, more businesses are being encouraged to come forward. 

Graham van’t Hoff, Chairman, Shell UK, said: “I was shocked by the scale and impact of the riots in the UK. In such circumstances large companies like Shell have the resources to cope – but small businesses don’t.

We have a presence in many communities across the UK and that’s why given these extraordinary circumstances we and others are stepping in to provide rapid help. But these riots have also demonstrated some of the best in British people – communities pulling together to begin rebuilding. It has reinforced the importance of creating new jobs for young people and of business investment as a basis for those opportunities.

We look forward to watching the small businesses and communities most affected by the riots recover quickly as a result of this great initiative.”

The Chairman of the High Street Fund, Sir William Castell added: “Shell have dug deep to support hard-pressed small companies and we are so grateful for their support. Claims from the fund are now coming in and with Shell’s generosity we’ll be able to help many more local businesses.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This huge donation from Shell is a fantastic gesture and one that will go a very long way in helping businesses to get back on their feet. The High Street Fund is already helping small companies to bounce back and I strongly urge any firm that suffered damage or had stock stolen to get online and make a claim.”

The High Street Fund was established last week as a charitable body to offer immediate cash support to smaller businesses that have suffered from the disturbances across England. It has been backed by a coalition of businesses and is also supported by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and local authorities.

The High Street Fund will provide emergency financial assistance to small businesses that suffered disruption, damage or destruction in the urban riots of August 2011. To qualify for funding, a business owner will need to explain what has happened to his or her business, how it happened, and how assistance from the High Street Fund will help get them back on their feet.

The Fund will offer nationwide support to businesses affected across the country by this month’s disturbances.

The Fund aims to make it easy to apply for funding and to make payments swiftly. Claims will be made using a form that can be downloaded from the High

Street Fund’s website –  Claims will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Capita will be running a freephone helpline, 0800 093 5858, open from 09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday, to assist businesses applying for grants from the fund.

The £500,000 provided to the Fund by the Mayor of London will be ring-fenced for businesses in London.  The London Boroughs of Barnet, Bexley, Croydon, Merton, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets have contributed £30,000 each to the High Street Fund and Richmond, Haringey, Enfield and City of London have contributed £50,000 each.

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