Business rates relief scheme gets green light

Hundreds of local businesses in the Braintree District will benefit from a new business rates relief scheme that was approved at a Cabinet meeting last week.

At a special meeting of Braintree District Council’s Cabinet on Monday 9th October, Councillors agreed the criteria for a new Discretionary Business Rate Relief scheme for the Braintree District.

As part of the Spring Budget central government announced three new business rate relief schemes that are aimed at helping businesses that have had a sharp increase in their business rates following the 2017 revaluation.

Braintree District Council’s share of a national pot of money is £492,035, which will be distributed to local businesses over the next four financial years.

272 businesses that meet the eligibility criteria will automatically receive an award of discretionary relief, with over £280,000 being provided to businesses during this financial year.

Cllr Graham Butland, Leader of Braintree District Council, said: “Small local businesses in our district hardest hit by the revaluation of business rates earlier this year will receive revised business rates from mid-October backdated to April 1. There are three new reliefs two of which central government set the criteria for but the third we had more say and we’ve decided to focus it on local small independent businesses. All in all, up to 360 small local businesses will benefit from these new reliefs.”

Cllr David Bebb, Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance said: “This scheme is an important part of supporting those businesses that were hardest hit by the revaluation of business rates earlier this year. We have acted promptly to ensure that businesses receive their amended bills soon.”

Cllr Tom Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “It is great news that hundreds of local businesses will benefit from this relief scheme. The Braintree District is a great place to do business and a place where business, especially small local businesses can thrive.”