Support for Local Businesses and Employers

Support with Business Rates, grants and additional help

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Beware COVID-19 Grant Phishing Email

Businesses are advised to be aware of a suspicious email requesting re-submission of application details in order to receive the COVID-19 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant. The e-mail claims to be from the ‘Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer)’.

Do not respond to this email as it is a fraud. It superficially appears legitimate, it is a scam designed to acquire the details of eligible grant recipients. Please raise awareness to your organisations and business communities.

We understand that many business owners will be worried about the impact Coronavirus (COVID-19) will have on the business community.
There will be concerns about what happens to business rate collections and what support will be offered from both the UK Government and Harrow Council.

The government has introduced advice and information to help. This is constantly being updated so please check for the latest updates.

Details about support measures are outlined below, full details on what support is available for business, employers and the self- employed are on the gov.uk website.

Support with Business Rates

The Business Rates Retail Discount has increased to 100% for businesses with no threshold on rateable value. It has also expanded to include leisure and hospitality sectors. All eligible businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors won’t pay business rates for 12 months from 1 April 2020.

  • If your last business rates demand had retail relief on it, and your 2020/21 recent demand shows that you need to pay the balance or 50% of the annual bill, this has now changed and you do not need to pay the first instalment in April.
  • We’ll update your account and re-send the 2020/21 bill showing a zero balance to pay if you are eligible. We hope to do this before the May instalment.
  • The exception of retail relief is only applicable if the business premises was occupied prior to 11th March 2020 (unless the unoccupied reason was linked to the Coronavirus threat. Please note that evidence may be requested.

A business rates holiday for nurseries. That means non-local authority providers of childcare will pay no business rates in 2020-21 from 1 April so long as:

  • the property used is occupied by providers on Ofsted's Early Years Register; and
  • wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

Pub Relief will be awarded - equivalent to a £5,000 discount off the 2020-21 business rates bill for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000.

Grants to Businesses

There will be flat rate grants of £10,000 to all small business in receipt of rate relief and up to £25,000 grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

All other business rate payers (in non retail, leisure or hospitality services) will need to continue to pay business rates as advised.

For more information and to apply, see Business Grants.

New Discretionary Small Business Grants

The government recently announced a new discretionary fund aimed at small businesses and charities that do not qualify for one of the current business grant schemes.

Due to the amount of funding awarded to Harrow we are only able to help around 1% of small businesses in the borough. Harrow’s funding is limited and therefore we will only be able to support a limited number of eligible businesses.

For further details and to apply, see Discretionary Small Business Grants.

Support for your business

Harrow Council's Business Skills Support Programme is designed to help borough businesses navigate their way through the affects  of the Covid-19.

Specialist advisers will offer legal and healthchecks, training workshops, 1:1 advice sessions, as well as peer to peer coaching sessions online. The programme is being delivered by London Business Partnership.

Contact now by emailing [email protected] or find out more.