Save Our Common Ground

by Common Ground Cafe in London, England, United Kingdom

Live

£20,328

raised in 40 days

375

supporters

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit Common Ground hard. Without help our much loved neighbourhood cafe won't open its doors or garden again

by Common Ground Cafe in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

We still don't know what social distancing measures will remain in place when the lockdown ends and how long our income will be affected by this.  Any extra money beyond our target will act as a buffer and help us back on our feet.


Common Ground, a labour of love with an uncertain future

Lucy Jones opened Common Ground in early 2018 with all her savings, personal loans and steely determination. 

Her vision was to create a welcoming community café with a focus on the best specialty coffee, great local produce and top-quality food all set within a beautiful creative space.

 

We were surprised and humbled by how quickly the local community took to Common Ground after we opened.  We quickly grew to expect and love the buzz, the banter, the weekend queues, the familiar faces and it didn’t take long for us to become an integral part of the local community.  Since shutting our doors in March it’s been hard seeing Common Ground empty and still.

Our community café is now under threat

   

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on cafes, pubs and restaurants around the world and like many others Common Ground has been badly hit. When our income dried up our costs didn’t go away.  Rent, bills, VAT, tax, supplier payments, and most importantly our 12 team members – many of whom are either full time or rely on Common Ground as their main source of income. 

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We have also had to close at the worst time for us.  Normally we open our lovely garden this time of year and we rely on the extra seasonal income from the outside space to carry us through.  This year our garden sits empty and we have no idea if we’ll get to use it this season.

There’s been help….but it’s not enough

The government has offered some help – which we are really grateful for.  It has meant we’ve been able to keep our team on (under furlough) and cover some of our basic costs. But only for a short time.  We will soon hit a financially critical stage that will prevent us getting through this intact.

A plea to our community for help

So we are reaching out to you, our friends and our community, to ask for help to make it through this difficult time.  We need to raise a minimum of £20,000 to be able to pay our rent, overheads, taxes and supplier bills to get us through the shutdown.  

We don't want something for nothing so have put together a series of rewards that you can pay for now and enjoy when we reopen.  They cover a full range of budgets depending on how much you are able to pledge and you can select as many as you like.

We know things are tough for a lot of people at the moment but every pledge you make goes a long way and helps Common Ground stay afloat- please pledge what you can.

Thank you all so much for helping to save our community café.  We can’t wait to welcome you all back. In the meantime stay safe.

Love Lucy and the Common Ground team xx

FAQs

The government has made a pledge to help hospitality businesses.  Why is this financial support not enough?

Based on the government’s criteria, we weren’t eligible for the grant of £25,000 which has been made available to most hospitality businesses.   We did receive a smaller grant of £10,000 but given our size and running costs, this hasn’t even covered our outstanding supplier debts, let alone help towards our rent, running costs, and tax bills. 

Could you not cover these costs through your insurance or by taking out a loan?

Although we have (what we assumed to be) comprehensive insurance cover, it does not cover loss of income due to enforced closure.  So, like most hospitality businesses in the UK, we’re not able to make an insurance claim to help cover our costs.

The banks are still making it hard to take out loans and we are worried about taking on debt when we have no income and the future is uncertain.   

Why don’t you stay open and do take away – this would bring in some income for you.

We tried doing take away only in the final week before the lock down but our income dropped to below a quarter of normal levels.  If we start doing take away now we would need to take staff out of the furlough system and cover their costs ourselves with no guarantee that we could bring in enough income.

Are there any conditions attached to the rewards?

  • The rewards can be transferred but not refunded
  • Brunch and venue hire deals must be booked in advance

 

 

 

We ask project owners to honour their rewards wherever possible but please note that all pledges are donations and there is no guarantee that you will receive any rewards from the project owner. Please see Crowdfunder's Terms of Use for more information regarding rewards for pledges.

Let's make 'Save Our Common Ground' happen

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