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Coronavirus: Harrogate Council to launch £2.3million discretionary grants fund 

Coronavirus: Harrogate Council to launch £2.3million discretionary grants fund 

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Jacob Webster at 12:33pm 4th June 2020.

Small businesses and charities in Harrogate which missed out on government coronavirus grants may have another chance to get some help.

  • Small businesses and charities in Harrogate will soon be able to apply for grants.
  • It's to help businesses that missed out on previous government handouts.
  • Businesses must have been trading before March 11th, 2020 and have fewer than 50 employees.

They will soon be able to apply to Harrogate Borough Council for grants ranging from £2,500 to £10,000 under its £2.3million discretionary grants fund.

The latest scheme aims to benefit market traders, nurseries, and B&B owners who missed out on previous handouts because they pay council tax instead of business rates.

Charity properties and small businesses including those in shared offices and flexible workspaces will also be eligible.

The grants will be staggered depending on the size and nature of the business, with the council deciding how to fairly distribute the money to benefit as many businesses as possible.

Businesses must have been trading before March 11th, 2020, and have fewer than 50 employees.

They must also have a rateable value or annual mortgage of below £51,000 and demonstrate an ongoing fixed property cost.

The financial help is not available to businesses eligible for other government coronavirus grants.

Harrogate town centre at dusk

Until Harrogate Borough Council opens applications, it will continue to distribute money under the existing Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund.

The council has so far paid out £46.6million of the £50million it was given by the government under that scheme.

That is made up of payments to more than 3,900 businesses and the council is now reaching out to firms which have yet to apply for help.

Coun Graham Swift said the council is preparing to launch the latest discretionary grants fund in the coming weeks: 

“These funds are aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property costs who may have missed out in previous grant fund schemes”, he said.

“B&B businesses and smaller charities will be particular beneficiaries of this and we will be making announcements in the very near future.”