Businesses in Harrogate have been given an extra £10m in support from Harrogate Borough Council, with the initial group of business grants now being issued.
The council had originally expected to receive in the region of £40m from the government as part of its Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant measures.
However, last Thursday, it was confirmed that the actual figure is just over £50m.
More than £6m has already been sent out to businesses in Harrogate – and the authority is now preparing distribute more as applications for financial help pass 2,000.
Graham Swift, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, enterprise and economic development, said: “We know businesses are under intense pressure.
“Our business rates team have worked extraordinarily hard to gear up to process tens of millions of pounds of government cash to support local businesses.
“We have drafted in extra staff to deal with grant payments and top priority is getting the money in to the bank accounts of local businesses as quickly as we can. Many grants have already been received and we are busy processing others so that they should be hitting businesses accounts early next week.”
Businesses that are in a recipient of small business rate relief or rural relief will receive a £10,000 grant while hospitality and leisure businesses, with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000, will receive a £25,000 grant.
Retail, hospitality, leisure businesses and childcare nurseries, regardless of rateable value, will also not pay any business rates in 20/21.
The council said it is also working with the chambers of trade, Harrogate BID, York, North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and other business associations to understand what further support can be provided.
Coun Swift added: “Businesses can help speed up their payments by completing the online information form on our website. This makes sure we have the information that we need to make payments quickly and accurately.”
Simon Kent from Harrogate BID said: “If businesses have not already applied for these grants, we urge them to do so as soon as possible.
“All the information needed is available on the council’s website, and we will be updating our members too with all relevant information regarding what support they can access.”
More information on the initiatives, and a form for businesses to complete, is available on the council’s website: