Numerous local businesses are in danger because they are unable to access government funding and rates relief during the COVID-19 crisis warn Liberal Democrat councillors in Haringey.
Haringey Lib Dem Leader Cllr Liz Morris has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government asking that financial help is extended to businesses in shared premises and businesses whose landlords are the business rate payer, all of whom are currently excluded from accessing grants and help with business rates.
Launching an online petition today, Cllr Morris said:
“Haringey has many thriving, viable local businesses which are currently excluded from getting the cash grants and rates relief which would help them survive the current lockdown. These businesses have been forgotten by the government.”
Currently, grants provided by local authorities under the governments COVID-19 Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund are only payable if a business pays Business Rates directly to the Council. Many creative, hospitality and leisure businesses in Haringey and in London share warehouse or work spaces, or operate under leases where they pay rent and business rates to their landlord. This means that Councils can only pay Business Rate Relief for 2020/21 and grants to these landlords, who are not required to pass them on.
Cllr Morris added:
“Just because you pay your business rates to your landlord shouldn’t mean that you miss out on vital help. We will lose the creative and vibrant soul of this borough if a technicality stops these businesses accessing vital funding.
“The Government must remember that this taxpayer money is to support jobs and businesses, not to line landlord’s pockets.”
Letter to the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak and Rt Hon Robert Jenrick