Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Around 800 businesses across East Devon are set to benefit from a scheme that will give them rate relief of up to £1,000 for the next two years.
The scheme, adopted by East Devon District Council, is designed to give local retail businesses of a rateable value of less than £50,000 a chance to compete on a more level playing field with internet retailers.
Businesses to benefit include shops, post offices, restaurants, cafes, pubs and garden centres.
Councillor David Cox, portfolio holder for finance, said: “A £1,000 discount will make a huge difference to small businesses and local traders within East Devon.
“In these difficult financial times this new scheme will provide a welcome bonus for the many excellent businesses in our district.
Councillor Ian Thomas, portfolio holder for economy, added: “We are keen to assist where we can and it is good we are able to give this valuable support over the next two years.”
Businesses that qualify have already been identified and the rate relief will be included in their annual bills which are currently being distributed. This has been done so that businesses benefit from this reduction straight away without having to wait for their application to be processed.
Businesses are being asked to confirm that they qualify and return their completed application form by mid-April. By returning the application form, relief will automatically be awarded again in 2015/16 provided the rateable value remains below £50,000.
If the council is uncertain about the use of a property there will be an opportunity to apply for the relief afterwards.
The retail relief initiative is at the discretion of local authorities and was announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne in the Autumn Statement last year.
Councillor Thomas added: “The Government left it up to local authorities to decide whether they wanted to take advantage of the scheme. I am pleased to say that we fully support this Government initiative.”
Ratepayers who occupy more than one property will be entitled to relief for each of their eligible properties.