Your Chamber wrote to our local MPs Nick Hurd and Boris Johnson seeking their help and support to obtain some form of business rates relief for our members.
We are pleased to learn in the budget annouced in Autumn 2018 that many of our retailers will benefit from a reduction in their future rates.
We have summarised the key points we have understood from the budget for members.
The scheme will take effect for both the 2019/2020 and 2020/20-21 rate years and will comprise 30% relief.
The relief applies to occupied premises "wholly or mainly" used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments. Qualifying properties must have a current rateable value of less than £51,000.
The following uses are intended to be excluded: Financial Services (banks, cash points, betting shops); Other services (estste agents, employment agencies); and Professional services (lawyers, accountants)
Relief is applied after a mandatory or discretionary rate relief has been applied, so it would appear that charity shops will continue to receive charitable relief and then the 30% allowance will be made.
Rate payers occupying more than one shop will qualify for relief on each shop subject to State Aid rules.