Hackney Council will support the borough’s businesses through the Coronavirus pandemic with a £100million financial support and relief package announced today.
The range of measures, which include a three-month rent free period for the Council’s voluntary and charity tenants and rent deferrals for other commercial tenants, were agreed this morning.
Where it holds account details, the Council will also start making the first grants to eligible businesses from the Government’s Coronavirus business grants programmes next week – ahead of receiving central Government funding. Businesses could receive up to £25,000.
The Council’s Hackney Business Network has already contacted thousands of members to monitor the impact of the pandemic on their business, with daily updates and information. The Council’s commercial tenants have today started receiving letters explaining the range of measures the Council is bringing forward to support businesses and organisations in Hackney.
The immediate measures include:
A three-month rent-free period for all of nearly 50 voluntary and charity organisations renting Council buildings, with an ongoing review of any future payments
A three-month no-quibbles rent deferral for all 300 other commercial tenants, with an ongoing review of future payments, as well as suspension of enforcement or eviction proceedings
Immediate application of the Government’s business rate reliefs for eligible businesses, with the cancellation of direct debit payments due for existing 2020/21 bills
Urgent payment of Coronavirus business grants where the Council holds account details of businesses from previous business rates bills, with a secure online system for other businesses to submit details launched imminently
The suspension of all commercial waste payments for businesses that have been forced to close, with other fees and charge waivers also being considered as the situation evolves
The suspension of any fees and charges due from street market traders unable to trade
Payments to local businesses for services provided to the Council made immediately rather than within 14 days
Further measures, including other fees and charges for closed or impacted businesses, will be considered in the coming weeks, as the current situation changes. The Council estimates nearly 3,700 small businesses will be eligible for 100% relief from business rates under the package, while more than 4,200 businesses will be eligible for grants.
The Coronavirus small business grant scheme will grant up to £10,000 to eligible businesses, with a separate Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant of up to £25,000 on offer for eligible businesses.
Businesses classed as within retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, including pubs, with a rateable value of over £15,000 and up to £51,000 will be eligible to apply for a £25,000 grant in 2020/21 in addition to their relief from business rates.
Businesses who receive small business rates relief, or who receive retail relief and have a rateable value of £15,000 or less, will be eligible to apply for a £10,000 grant in 2020/21 on top of their existing relief.
The Council will continue to press ministers on behalf of those that are not supported under these schemes.