Thousands of local firms urged to apply now for Islington Council Covid-19 support scheme that could cancel out Business Rates bills

Up to 4,000 small and medium-sized businesses in Islington could effectively have their Business Rates bills cancelled out this year, thanks to a £17million council scheme designed to help those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of its ongoing support for the local economy and businesses affected by the pandemic, Islington Council is offering eligible Business Rates payers up to £10,000 per premises, for up to three premises.

The Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund money is only available to businesses that have not previously received Retail Relief payments.

The £17million scheme is open for applications now, with awards made on a first-come, first-served basis. The scheme will run until all the money is awarded or until July 15, whichever comes first. The awards will be paid to successful applicants by the end of the September.

Cllr Santiago Bell-Bradford, Executive Member for Inclusive Economy and Jobs, said: “More than two years into the pandemic, we remain absolutely committed to helping local businesses, protecting jobs and our local economy in every way we can.

“I’m very pleased that we are able to offer these grants to help small and medium-sized local businesses who have so far not been eligible for support under previous schemes.

“The funding pot means as many as 4,000 of these businesses in the borough could wipe out their Business Rates bill for the entire 2022/23 financial year. It will also significantly reduce the Business Rates bills for many others.

“So if you are an arts organisation, a head office, depot, creative agency or a solicitor, you might be eligible and should make an application as soon as possible, as the funding is limited. We don’t want you to miss out.”

Central Government has provided the grant funding in recognition of the impact of the pandemic on businesses which have been unable to claim relief under previous support schemes. Islington Council has designed and is administering the scheme.