Rate relief boost for small businesses

Leyland traders outside the market on Hough Lane
Leyland traders outside the market on Hough Lane
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Rate relief is being offered to businesses across South Ribble in a bid to support the local economy.

Small business and potential business owners will see a reduction in their Business Rates under the new policy as proposed by South Ribble Council’s Cabinet.

The plans for rate relief were announced in the government’s Autumn Statement in December, and from April 1 this year, rate reductions will come into effect.

A discount of £1,000 for shops, pubs and restaurants with a rateable property value of £50,000 or less will be in place for the next two financial years.

In an effort to bring empty retail premises back into use, potential ratepayers will be offered a 50 per cent reduction if they take up a retail space that has been empty for longer than a year.

Examples of businesses that will qualify for the reductions include retail shops, post offices, travel agents, beauty salons, pubs, bars and restaurants.

Coun Phil Hamman, South Ribble Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for Shared Services and Corporate Support, said: “Local high streets have really taken a hit during the economic downturn, but we hope that this reduction in rates will bring some relief to the hard-working traders across the borough.

“We do everything we can to support local businesses in the area and bringing empty shops back into use will be a great boost for our towns and villages.

“We already have some real success stories in South Ribble, with 100% occupancy at Leyland Market and we have assisted more than 440 businesses in the last two years.

“Advice is available from the council for anyone looking to find premises and we can help to put you in touch with the right people for loan funding or further advice that is available in the area.”

This is set to be discussed at the next full council meeting on Wednesday, March 5, from 6pm.