Rents put on hold for Harrogate Council's commercial tenants for three months

Harrogate Borough Council is deferring rents for all its commercial tenants for three months to help see them through the coronavirus pandemic.

It is part of a package of measures unveiled by the local authority as it looks to support local businesses and their thousands of employees.

It also includes around £40million of business rates relief and government grants. More details of how these can be applied for are being announced tomorrow, Friday, March 27.

The council is deferringrents for all its commercial tenants for three months.

In a message to Harrogate businesses, the council's head of economic growth, Kathryn Daly, said: "We know that some businesses need urgent financial support, so wherever possible we are already ensuring that the most urgent payments are processed with priority. In total these grants represent a £40m cash boost to the district’s businesses.

"These schemes are being extended and changed on a near daily basis, and we will continue to monitor these and update our communication to businesses accordingly."

The business rates relief and government grants 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 their rateable value, will not pay any business rates in 2020/2021

The borough council said it is lobbying the government for further support for freelancers and the self-employed.

And it is expected that chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce an emergency package for the self-employed today, Thursday.

Council leader Richard Cooper 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."

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By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter