This is a difficult time for many businesses. The government and local authorities, including Harrogate Borough Council, are working to support businesses and employees that are affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus. 
Business guidance and support : keep updated  
news_tablet.jpg Keeping up to date is key for businesses, as new guidance and information is issued on a daily basis. For the latest government online guidance for employees, employers and businesses in providing advice about coronavirus, COVID-19 please continue to check the web page.  

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A number of new  business support measures are being rolled out across the UK, over the next few weeks.  The Government has this week published information for businesses and employees , to  help them find out how to access this business support,  identify  who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

The new business support FAQ page, provided by the Government, has been designed to help businesses of all sizes and sectors find the information they need.   
Grants, funding and support for businesses in the Harrogate District 
The council is acting quickly to support businesses in the Harrogate district  during the COVID-19 outbreak.  F ollowing recent announcements by government, a range of grants, funding and support schemes will soon be available for eligible businesses  
  • Nearly 3,000 local businesses that are in receipt of small business rate relief or rural relief will each receive a £10,000 grant.
  • Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000, will each receive a £25,000 grant. There are just over 700 businesses in the district that are eligible for this funding.
Details on how eligible businesses can apply for these grants will be published this week , and widely promoted on our website , Facebook and Twitter
  • Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will not pay business rates in 2020/2021, regardless of rateable value, and this will apply to nearly 2,755 businesses. For these businesses the council will ensure direct debits for business rates payments are cancelled as of April.

Councillor 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."   

  • The borough council's direct commercial tenants will be offered three months' rent free, and the council will be encouraging all other landlords in the district to consider what support they can offer their tenants.
The government has this week announced that  Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction.
  • The council are lobbying government for further support for freelancers and the self-employed, who make up a significant part of the local workforce. It is expected that the government will announce additional support for the self-employed this week.
  • The council are also keen to work with the local and regional chambers of trade, Harrogate BID, the Local Enterprise Partnerships for Yorkshire and other business associations, to understand what other support can be provided.
Harrogate Borough Council: how we're responding to COVID-19
The council has created a new COVID-19 web page in response to the ongoing situation.  

To keep updated on how the coronavirus is impacting on local council services, for businesses and residents, please check our website for the latest information and how to contact us. 

We hope you find the information and web links in this newsletter helpful. In some cases we know the detail you need is not quite yet available, but we are doing all we can to get up-to-date information to you as soon as possible.