Around 300 South Cambridgeshire businesses could receive funds from rate relief

14 August 2017

Hundreds of South Cambridgeshire companies could receive financial relief from increases in business rates.

It could see each awarded an average of £1,200.

During the budget in March this year, the Chancellor announced a £300million fund to support those firms facing the steepest rises in business rates, because of changes to the way their rates are calculated.

South Cambridgeshire District Council has been allocated a total of £849,000 over four years by the Government, to pass on to local businesses affected, in the form of rate relief.

Since March, officers have been designing a scheme that will allow the Council to target relief where it’s most needed, in a way that provides real benefits to those most affected by revaluation.

At a meeting on Tuesday 22 August, the Council’s Finance and Staffing Portfolio Holder, Councillor Simon Edwards, will consider a recommendation to formally adopt this new Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy.

If adopted, the Council has identified that approximately 300 ratepayers could benefit from this scheme.

The proposals confirm that any business with a rateable value of under £200,000, that faces a bill increase of 10%, would be eligible to apply for the relief.

A separate fund of £50,000 is also being created from the money allocated to the Council by the Government as part of the programme. This is aimed at businesses in the district that do not qualify for the rate relief scheme mentioned above, but can demonstrate that the revaluation is causing them hardship.

Councillor Edwards said: “We really recognise the importance of businesses to the local economy, and understand the challenges that they face.

“So of course, we want to support firms within the district.

“With both of those points in mind, our officers have worked very hard to come up with a scheme designed to make a real difference to businesses.

“If the scheme is adopted, it is important to remember that every case will be considered on its merits, with consideration also given to the interests of Council Tax payers of South Cambridgeshire.

“The separate hardship fund which is part of the programme also signifies the Council’s willingness to help businesses that may not qualify for this rate relief, but can demonstrate to us that the revaluation has had a significant impact on them.”