Support for businesses affected by the coronavirus

We know that many businesses in the district are struggling as a result of the coronavirus.

We are here to help as best we can at this very challenging time.

The government has announced a package of measures to support businesses through the pandemic. They include a reduction in business rates for some retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and cash grants for other eligible businesses.

All the information you need can be found on the government website.

We also have our own business support plan for the district. It includes the following:

  • three months rent-free for our commercial tenants
  • a pledge to pay our own suppliers as quickly as possible
  • a relaxation of planning rules
  • support to businesses via our growth service

We are working closely with Harrogate BID, the Think Harrogate place leadership group and the York and North Yorkshire and Leeds City Region local enterprise partnerships to develop a business community response to the pandemic.

Our customer services centre in Harrogate is closed, but you can still speak to us on the phone or via email business@harrogate.gov.uk

If your business is eligible for either of the government's crash grants, you can find out more and make an application by following the link below.

Business rates coronavirus grants

In the meantime, please sign-up to receive our business newsletter.

You'll be able to keep up to date with the latest business support schemes from us, government and our other partner organisations.

Councils are at different stages of implementing their coronavirus (Covid-19) grant application process. If you run a business which isn't based in the Harrogate district, please refer to the local council in that area for the latest information. Please be reassured that all councils are working hard to get application processes live as soon as they can.

Business rates

We are in the process of contacting retail, hospitality and leisure organisations in relation to their business rates. New bills are being prepared and sent out.

If your business is in one of the sectors above, please avoid calling us as there is no need to. We will contact you directly.

If you pay your business rates by standing order - cancel the standing order.*
If you pay your business rates by cash, bank transfer or credit card each month - don't pay.*
If you pay your business rates by direct debit - do nothing. We've suspended direct debits.*

If we do take a payment and you think we shouldn't have done, please let us know.

*This only applies to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

Cash grants for eligible businesses

We are still waiting for the government to confirm how the scheme will be administered, how the money will be distributed, and when.

We will contact you when we have a clear idea of how things will work. There is no need to call us.

We have been told to expect a further update the next few days. We anticipate the first grants will be paid out in early April, if not before.

We'll post more information on this page when it is available.

In the meantime, please sign up to receive our business newsletter.

Online resources for businesses and employers

If you own or run a business in the Harrogate district we suggest you take a look at the latest guidance for employers and businesses. You may find it useful to sign up to receive email alerts.

Government is scaling up its business support helpline and is making advisors available on the phone if you need help. The number to call is 0300 456 3565.

HMRC has also launched a tax helpline to help you if you are concerned about paying your business taxes and Companies House has produced guidance if coronavirus is affecting your company and you need more time to file your accounts.

How can we help your business?

Businesses across the Harrogate district are benefiting from our free support services. Over £1 million of grant funding was awarded to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the past year. This has contributed towards: the expansion of premises, purchase of machinery, investment in IT development, exporting activity and employee training. With our bespoke support and advice over 70 businesses progressed their growth plans and achieved their job creation ambitions, in 2018-19.

For details on how you can benefit, please visit our web pages and contact us at business@harrogate.gov.uk. Keep updated by following us on Twitter and subscribe to our e-newsletter.


Transition period - the UK has left the EU

Find out what this means for you.

There is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements. The current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period.

New rules will take effect on 1 January 2021. Check how to get ready for new rules in 2021 by visiting www.gov.uk/transition-check

Information and advice on preparing your business for Britain leaving the European Union can be found on our dedicated EU transition period page.