At a Cabinet meeting last night, (September 13), Councillors approved three new rates relief schemes which will support small businesses in Test Valley.
The schemes provide support for pubs; help for small / rural businesses affected by a national revaluation; and a discretionary relief fund that utilises the Council’s share of a national funding stream.
Finance Portfolio Holder, Councillor Peter Giddings said: “The Government has made these new business rates relief schemes discretionary so I am delighted that the Council has agreed to pro-actively apply them. It is this kind of action that underpins our Corporate Plan objective of making Test Valley a great place to work and do business.”
The Pub Relief Scheme is fully funded by central government and offers a £1,000 relief to all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000. Around 70 pubs within the Borough have been identified as being potentially eligible to receive it and relief has already been awarded to over 30 accounts.
Some small and rural businesses have become ineligible for existing rate relief schemes as a result of increases in their rateable value in the 2017 national revaluation exercise. Additional relief is being funded by central government to help affected businesses.
The third rates relief scheme is an allocated government fund to help reduce the impact of large increases in business rates following the 2017 national valuation. Test Valley Borough Councillors have chosen to operate this scheme in favour of local, rather than national businesses by using criteria which state that the business must operate primarily in Test Valley. It is estimated that this could benefit approximately 275 recipients.
The local business community was invited to comment on the recommended schemes.
More information on the eligibility criteria will be published on the Council’s website in the Discretionary Relief Policy.