Back in March, for obvious reasons, Time Out changed its name to Time In. And on May 11th they launched Love Local. I wanted to write this week’s blog about that campaign, because even as the lockdown starts to ease, it’s too late for some.

As Time out says, and I couldn’t put it better:

“Imagine how bummed out you’d be if your favourite Ethiopian restaurant closed. Now imagine how much sadder you’d feel if your favourite cactus store closed too. Okay, now imagine what would happen if all the independent local restaurants, pubs, shops, cinemas and theatres in London closed…….If we don’t take action right now, countless venues will close for ever. This is not hyperbole. Many places, already struggling to pay steep London bills, must now cope with months of lost revenue. Thousands of bartenders, waiters, cooks, artists, musicians, actors, filmmakers, designers and other creatives and makers have been left unable to earn a living.”

You too can lend your voice to two crucial campaigns that are fighting to support local food, drink, culture and entertainment in London. Here’s how.

First up, back Hospitality Union’s campaign for a #NationalTimeOut. This campaign is fighting for a national rent freeze for bars and restaurants to help them survive the longest period of closure that most of them have ever experienced. You can help the campaign now by writing to your MP in support, using this letter template.

Alongside that, lend your voice to support the Mayor of London’s Culture at Risk Business Support Fund. This will help a whole range of creative projects and spaces stay afloat – including LGBTQ+ venues, grassroots music venues, artists’ studios and independent cinemas. If you’re a small culture venue at risk of closure, here’s how you can apply for help.