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Coronavirus: Extra £10m to help struggling firms

Coronavirus: Extra £10m to help struggling firms

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Jacob Webster at 6:56am 6th April 2020.

More cash to help get Harrogate District's businesses through the pandemic

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Harrogate Borough Council has been given an extra £10million to help firms weather the coronavirus storm – as the first batch of business grants are this week sent out.

The local authority previously said it was expecting to get around £40million from the government as part of its Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant measures.

But on Thursday (2 April) it was confirmed that the actual figure is £50,128,000.

Harrogate Borough Council Civic Centre
Harrogate Borough Council's head office, Civic Centre

More than £6million has already been sent out to businesses in Harrogate – and the council is gearing up to distribute more as applications for financial help hit the 2,000 mark.

Councillor Graham Swift, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, enterprise and economic development, said:

“We know businesses are under intense pressure. Our business rates team have worked extraordinarily hard to gear up to process tens of millions of pounds of government cash to support local businesses.

“We have drafted in extra staff to deal with grant payments and top priority is getting the money in to the bank accounts of local businesses as quickly as we can. Many grants have already been received and we are busy processing others so that they should be hitting businesses accounts early next week.”

Business Meeting

Businesses that are in a recipient of small business rate relief or rural relief will receive a £10,000 grant while hospitality and leisure businesses, with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000, will receive a £25,000 grant.

Retail, hospitality, leisure businesses and childcare nurseries, regardless of rateable value, will also not pay any business rates in 20/21.

The council said it is also working with the chambers of trade, Harrogate BID, York, North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and other business associations to understand what further support can be provided.

More information on the initiatives, and a form for businesses to complete, is available on the council’s website.

Coun Swift added:

“Businesses can help speed up their payments by completing the online information form on our website. This makes sure we have the information that we need to make payments quickly and accurately.”