Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce News

Support for businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak

25 Mar 2020 by Harrogate Borough Council

Following an announcement by government, around £40million will be made available to support Harrogate district businesses in the coming weeks.

This funding will be in the form of business rates relief and will be available for the following;

  • Businesses that are in recipient of small business rate relief or rural relief will receive a £10,000 grant
  • Hospitality and leisure businesses, with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000, will receive a £25,000 grant
  • Hospitality and leisure businesses, regardless of rateable value, will not pay any business rates in 20/21

The borough council’s direct commercial tenants will be offered Three months’ rent free and they will be encouraging all other landlords in the district to consider what support they can offer their tenants.

The council have also written to HM Treasury seeking clarity on the support that is available to the self-employed and freelancers, requesting that more is done to support this business sector.

We are keen to work with the chambers of trade, Harrogate BID, York, North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and other business associations to understand what other support can be provided.

The Council will also be supporting the Governments announcements on the relaxation of Planning Laws, where this is appropriate.

Cllr Richard Cooper, Leader of Harrogate Borough Council said:

“We know businesses are struggling.  Our business rates team are geared up to process tens of millions of pounds of government cash to support local businesses.  As soon as it hits our bank account we will be getting it in to the bank accounts of local businesses.

“We have also been lobbying government on behalf of freelancers and the self-employed who make up a significant part of our local workforce.  We are expecting announcements on this over the coming days.

“But we want to go further.  So we will be offering nearly all our commercial tenants three months rent free.  This includes some shops on our high streets, Harrogate Theatre and other offices and business premises around the district.  It is time for other commercial landlords to show the same leadership by talking to their tenants about how best they can support them at this time.

“We know that landlords need to make a profit.  But the larger ones especially need to look at how much they can trim this – or like us offer zero rent periods – to ensure their tenants are still in business when this crisis is over.”