Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne yesterday announced new support for small businesses. The commitments show that the Conservative-led Government is supporting the local businesses that are the life blood of our economy and is welcome news ahead of small business Saturday, which is tomorrow (7th December).
The measures unveiled by the Chancellor include:
· Business rates were due to increase by 3.2 per cent in 2014/15, but the increase in the bills has now been capped at two per cent.
· The Small Business Rate Relief scheme, which has already been doubled and extended, will now run until April 2015. This scheme means 360,000 small businesses pay no business rates, with a further 180,000 benefitting from tapering relief.
· A new discount of £1,000 on business rates bills for two years will be introduced for retail premises with a rateable value of up to £50,000 to help businesses on the high street. This includes pubs, cafes and restaurants. For those facing bills lower than £1,000, they will pay no rates at all.
· A new reoccupation relief will see businesses that set up in retail premises that have been empty for a year or more receive a 50 per cent discount on their rates bill for 18 months.