Small businesses can benefit from a business rate discount this year – and some will also be rewarded if they take on an extra premise or take over a previously empty property.
South Ribble Council’s cabinet agreed to extend its rate relief scheme for this next financial year, after it was introduced last year, in line with national recommendations.
It means that shops, pubs and restaurants with a rateable value of £50,000 or below in South Ribble will be entitled to a £1,500 discount from April 2015.
There is a 50 per cent relief for 18 months – between April 2014 and March 2016 –for businesses that move into retail premises that have been empty for a year or more, and ratepayers receiving Small Business Rate Relief that take on an additional property, (which would normally disqualify them from receiving relief) will continue to receive their existing relief for 12 months.
The council’s cabinet member for shared services and corporate support, Coun Phil Hamman, said at a meeting on Wednesday: “This is aimed at supporting small, local businesses, and 255 have benefited so far.
“I’d like to remind people that these discounts need to be applied for though, they are not automatically deducted from the business rates.”
Portfolio holder for leisure, regeneration and healthy communities, Coun Phil Smith, added: “I think this is a good policy and as a council we’ve been proactive in telling businesses about the scheme.”
Cabinet member for finance and resources, Coun Stephen Robinson, said: “Rate relief allows businesses the chance to employ more people and put money into the economy. The spin-off effects of this should really be applauded.”