CITY Of York Council has pledged to put in place the business rates holidays and pay grants as quickly as possible.

Cllr Nigel Ayre said he hoped the government would provide guidance quickly, but stressed it could be days before the council received funds to make payments.

“Paying grants and relief as quickly and simply as possible has been central to our pandemic response. This protects jobs, the supply chain and the city’s wider economy."

The authority delayed issuing business rates bills until after yesterday's budget. The extended holiday and discounts will now be applied to all eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

A Restart Gran will replace the local restrictions grants from April 2021, with non-essential retail to receive grants of up to £6,000 per premises while hospitality and leisure (including the personal care sector and gyms) will receive grants of up to £18k.

The 100 per cent business rates holiday will continue for qualifying businesses until the end of June 2021. A discount of two thirds will continue for the rest of the year, up to a value of £2,000,000 for closed businesses, with a lower cap for those who have been able to stay open.

Councillor Ayre, executive member for finance and performance, added: “I would stress to businesses that we only have the same information as them, and it can be many days before the government gives us the information and funding we need to make payments.

“I’d like to thank the council officers who are making speedy payments possible, and the businesses for their patience as they allow us to get on with distributing the funding.”

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for economy and strategic planning, said: “We’ve worked hard with partners to listen to local businesses and give them a voice. Together we have helped convince government to improve the support on offer, while developing our own schemes to support businesses which fall through the cracks.

“While more discretionary funding for councils has been announced, we need to see the details before we can determine the fairest and most effective way of distributing what has so far been a relatively small amount of money between many businesses.

“We will keep fighting for more support, so if your business still falls through the cracks of government schemes to please contact us as soon as possible at”

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