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Coronavirus: Havering Council launches helpline and webpage to offer support to businesses

PUBLISHED: 10:00 08 April 2020

Councillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council. Picture: Mark Sepple/Havering Council

Councillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council. Picture: Mark Sepple/Havering Council

Mark Sepple

Havering Council has launched a helpline and webpage to support businesses during the coronavirus crisis.

The services are part of the council’s plan to assist with the economic impact of Covid-19.

The helpline - 0345 017 0743 - is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm and launches on Wednesday, April 8.

Businesses will also be able to visit www.havering.gov.uk/covid19business, which provides information about the latest Government support measures, other assistance and offers the chance to sign up to the Business Briefing e-newsletter.

The council has announced it is pausing recovery action on all business rates for three months and will introduce a business impact survey to understand the concerns and impact that COVID-19 is having. The survey will be hosted on the new webpage.

Council leader Damian White said: “We understand that these are times of great uncertainty for many businesses, particularly for those that have closed their doors to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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“This is why we want to make sure we make it easier for businesses to access the information and help they need to weather this storm.

“It is why we have launched our new webpage, email address and dedicated helpline to provide businesses with further assistance through these uncertain times.”

There will also be live business-themed question and answer sessions hosted on the council’s Facebook page, where there will be the chance to quiz Cllr White and members of the economic development and business rate teams.

The first of these is taking place on Tuesday, April 14 from 2pm.

A council spokesman said it is working with the Government on additional measures to help the borough’s businesses.

These include full retail rates relief discounts for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in this financial year, as well as a business rate holiday for nurseries in the 2020/21 tax year.

There are also proposals for allowing pubs and restaurants to operate as hot food takeaways for 12 months.

Businesses can contact the council at businessdevelopment@havering.gov.uk, or for questions on grants and rates, email business.rates@onesource.co.uk.


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