Haringey Council pays 73% of small business grants but opposition says traders have been ‘failed’ in ‘hour of need’
PUBLISHED: 14:46 18 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:50 18 May 2020
© Hugh Flouch
Haringey Council has now funded 73 per cent of small business grants after last month holding one of the worst payment rates in London.
On April 28, Haringey had paid only 29 pc of business grants - the second lowest of local authorities in the capital - but as of May 13 it had paid nearly three quarters of eligible businesses.
The scheme, incorporating the Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, was announced by the government in mid-March in order to support smaller businesses struggling through Covid-19 lockdown.
It awards between £10,000 to £25,000 based on the rateable value of companies’ premises.
Haringey Liberal Democrats, the town hall’s opposition, said the council had “failed” local businesses and called for an independent inquiry.
But Haringey Council said business grants “remain a priority”.
A town hall spokesperson said: “Our business grants team is working hard to speed up the process and are still actively trying to contact eligible business that do not pay the council by direct debit, to ensure all eligible businesses receive their grant payment as soon as possible.
“The team is now reliant on businesses coming forward with the required information.
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“We have been actively contacting these businesses and urge them to fill in the grant form so they can be verified and paid their grant.”
In addition to grants, the council says it has considered requests for rates or rent deferrals on a case-by-case basis.
It also held a business impact survey with 267 respondents.
But Haringey Liberal Democrats said the council had let down local traders in their “hour of need”.
Its business spokesperson Cllr Paul Dennison (Highgate) said: “It has been six weeks since the government announced this funding, yet we are still being contacted on a daily basis by businesses who applied last month, but whose grants remain unpaid and their emails to the council continue to go unanswered.
“Haringey’s payment rates have been amongst the worst in the country.
“However, the Labour cabinet show no sign of grasping the lasting damage their failure is doing to the local economy and our high streets.”
Cllr Dennison said Haringey should apologise to businesses that have experienced delays.
Has your business been paid a grant or are you still waiting? Contact Michael from the newsdesk on 07805 403 545 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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