Financial relief for High Street businesses announced as part of council budget setting

Financial relief for High Street businesses announced as part of council budget setting

Financial relief for High Street businesses announced as part of council budget setting

More financial relief is on the cards for businesses on the district’s high streets as Braintree District Council continues its budget setting process.

Local independent retailers could benefit from a slice of around £800,000 in business rate relief. It is proposed that the council will use its discretionary powers to implement a new retail relief, announced by central government in the Autumn Budget 2018.

The new business rate relief scheme will benefit shops such as florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments of a certain size.

Under this relief scheme eligible retailers with a rateable value below £51,000 will receive a one third discount on their net business rates bills after other business rate relief schemes have been applied.

A number of business rate relief schemes already exist, businesses can contact the council to find out what options are open to them simply by calling 01376 552525 or emailing busrates@braintree.gov.uk.

This and other budget proposals will be discussed at a meeting of the Cabinet on February 11th and again at a meeting of Full Council on February 25th.     

Cabinet will also discuss plans to increase the amount of council tax that people with homes that have been empty for two years or more will have to pay as well as introducing a financial incentive to bring empty homes back into use.

Cllr Graham Butland, Leader of the Council, said: “These two proposals are important for our residents and businesses. We’re pleased to be able to offer high street independent retailers this reduction in the amount of business rates they pay. This will mean shops could save on average £2,000. We’re also keen to encourage those with empty homes to get them back in to use. Homes sitting empty benefit no one – we’d much rather see them back in use for the benefit of our residents.”