New scheme to help small and medium sized businesses with their rates

Councillors will be asked to approve a scheme designed to help small and medium sized businesses with their rates over the next four years.

The council's Non-Domestic Rates Discretionary Scheme was recommended by the council's Cabinet, for approval at the Full Council meeting which will take place on Wednesday 21 November.

In March, the Government announced that it would make a discretionary fund of £300 million available from the 2017 - 2018 financial year to support those businesses facing an increase in their rates as a result of its 2017 revaluation.

Chichester District Council has received a total of £786,000 from the fund which will be used to help limit increases in business rates for eligible, occupied businesses that have a rateable value of £100,000 or less.

Amounts have been made available by the Government as follows:

  • 2017 - 2018: £458,000;

  • 2018 - 2019: £223,000;

  • 2019 - 2020: £92,000; and

  • 2020 - 2021: £13,000.

Businesses with a rateable value of £20,000 or less will have their increase limited to 4% for the financial year 2017 - 2018. Businesses with a rateable value of £100,000 or less will have their increase limited to 5%.

The scheme will complement the Government's Transitional Relief scheme put in place to help businesses adjust to any increases as a result of the revaluation.

"We understand that some businesses have been severely affected by the Government's revaluation," says Councillor Eileen Lintill, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Services at Chichester District Council. "We have 4,700 small and medium sized businesses across the district, of which 1,500 have experienced an increase in their business rates.

"We want to ensure that our share of the discretionary funding is used to help those that are in most need as a result of that revaluation process. Of the 1,500 businesses that have experienced an increase, approximately 1,200 will receive assistance from this scheme."

Business rates are set by the Government and values for the properties set by the national Valuation Office Agency . A special formula to work out the cost is set by the Government.

It is then the role of each local authority, including Chichester District Council, to administer this by sending the bills to businesses and collecting the rates on behalf of the Government. The money is then redistributed to councils by central government.

Date of Release: 7 November 2017                    

Reference: 3764