In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the government announced there would be extra support for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
In March, Tower Hamlets Council identified eligible ratepayers and at the start of April, began issuing grant payments to local businesses by issuing them directly to their bank accounts.
Some business ratepayers still need to take action
We need to make grant payments by bank transfer. Local businesses ratepayers that are eligible, but whose business bank details we do not hold, need to provide their bank account details and upload a current copy of a bank statement to the council's secure 'MyAccount' portal.
The council has identified and contacted business rate account holders we believe may qualify for the grant payment, but who need to provide their details.
We began contacting those ratepayers by email, letter and telephone at the beginning of April to ensure payments can be issued to them as quickly as possible. We still need to hear back from some local businesses.
We are sending out further reminders but urge ratepayers to read any correspondence from the council carefully, so that you can take action and receive support.
If you think this applies to your business, please provide your business’ bank details and a current bank statement to our 'MyAccount' portal as soon as possible.
Watch out for scams
Please be aware that there are a number of scam emails and messages being sent to businesses about claiming grants. Some organisations are contacting ratepayers and charging a fee for supposedly arranging grant payments.
Please do not respond to these messages or pay any fees for their services, as we will determine and make the grant payments automatically when we have the correct information to do so.
The council will always quote your business rate account number in any communication so you will always know that our messages are genuine.
Please also do not send your bank details by email or text when responding only provide the details using the council's secure 'MyAccount' portal.
We are here to support you
We know that these are uncertain times and many businesses are facing major financial pressures, as well as obvious concerns for the health and safety of their families and friends.
The council is grateful for the important role that businesses play in our community, and is determined to do what we can support you through these difficult days ahead.
For more information on grants and business rate relief, please see the business rates reductions webpage.
You can also find out more about support for residents and businesses as a result of the pandemic in our dedicated coronavirus section.
If you need to contact us for more information or support, you can reach us:
More information on the local response to coronavirus
We are supporting the nation's efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus, while running our most critical services that our residents rely on, including some of the most vulnerable.
We are working with Public Health England, the NHS and a wide range of partners to ensure we're doing everything we can, in line with the government advice, and urging our residents to do the same.
There have been a vast number of changes to our services in recent weeks as we respond to this evolving situation. We are regularly publishing updates and advice at www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/coronavirus.
We are also sharing updates with our subscribers in regular emails, so please do sign up.
Posted on Thursday 16th April 2020