New Rate Relief scheme for small businesses

27 October 2017

Mid Sussex District Council has announced a new Discretionary Business Rate Fund Scheme that will provide financial support for small and medium sized businesses that have recently experienced an increase in business rates.

Earlier this year, Central Government completed a national revaluation of all commercial premises in England and Wales. From 1 April 2017, all premises were assigned a new “rateable value” by the Valuation Office, a figure that is used to calculate the level of business rates charged to the occupier.

In Mid Sussex, the revaluation means 698 business premises have seen a reduction in their rateable value, 395 no change and 3,267 have experienced an increase. There are a range of reliefs already in place to help offset these increases but to help further, Central Government has provided Mid Sussex District Council with £650,000 over four years towards a local Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme.

“We have designed our Business Rate Fund Scheme so that financial support is allocated to the local businesses that need it most,” said Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Cabinet Member for Resources and Economic Growth.

“We are targeting our support at the independent, small and medium sized local businesses that face an increase in their business rates of £300 or more following the revaluation because those are the ones that have been hit hardest.

“Multinational and national chain companies have been excluded from the scheme because they are better equipped to cope with the increase in business rates and they are likely to occupy premises around the country, some of which will be in areas where Business Rates have fallen.

“On average this support will enable us to cancel out 52% of the business rate increase that small and medium sized local businesses are facing in Mid Sussex. The relief will be automatically deducted from bills for 2017/18 and it will help to ease the burden on local businesses while they adjust to the new business rates.

“To ensure our scheme allocates the available funding in a fair manner, businesses that have experienced the biggest increases in businesses rates will receive more in rate relief. We are also setting aside a fund of £20,000 that we can use in exceptional circumstances to support businesses facing real hardship.”

Mid Sussex District Council will allocate £379,000 through the Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme in 2017/18, with the remaining £271,000 to be allocated over the next three years. It will be provided in addition to transitional and other relief schemes that are already available to businesses.

For more information about Business Rates in Mid Sussex call 01444 477564 or email revenue@midsussex.gov.uk.