Business tax relief to save small traders up to £2,000


CouncilTax - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of small Exmouth traders will see their business tax slashed by as much as a £1,000 a year for the next two years.

In a move which has been welcomed by the Exmouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, a total of 800 East Devon businesses are set to benefit from a scheme that will give them rate relief up to 2016.

The Government scheme, adopted by East Devon District Council (EDDC), 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, EDDC’s 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.”

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.

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Businesses are being asked to confirm that they qualify and return their completed application forms by mid-April.

By doing so, relief will automatically be awarded again in 2015-2016 provided the rateable value remains below £50,000.

Ratepayers who occupy more than one property will be entitled to relief for each of their eligible properties.

Ian MacQueen, the chairman of Exmouth’s Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: “We are delighted that EDDC has adopted this scheme.

“High business rates are one of the biggest concerns for local retailers and it is excellent news that Exmouth retailers will be able to benefit from this relief.

“The fact that EDDC are being so proactive in applying the discount automatically is a great bonus.”

and evidence that the combined Association of East Devon Chambers of Commerce’s policy of constructive engagement with the council is paying dividends”

If EDDC is unsure of a property there will be an opportunity to apply for the relief afterwards.

Ratepayers who occupy more than one property will be entitled to relief for each of their eligible properties.

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 Ian Thomas, EDDC’s portfolio holder for economy, said: “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.”