Cabinet councillors have agreed a new policy to give certain retail businesses that have a rateable value under £51,000 a discount of one third off their rates bill.
The initiative will run from April 2019 to March 2021 and eligible businesses will include a wide range of small shops, such as florists, bakers, greengrocers, butchers, jewellers, off licences, chemists, newsagents, charity shops, opticians, travel agents, funeral directors, restaurants, takeaways and coffee shops. (This list is not exhaustive).
The council will determine if a property, broadly similar to those above, is eligible for the relief.
Councillor Alan Shuttleworth, Cabinet Member for Direct Assistance, said:
“Any support for local business is to be welcomed, especially for our smaller retailers, and so I know this council decision will be welcomed.
“UK high streets are under great pressure but in Eastbourne with the town centre redevelopment nearing completion and exciting developments on Langney Shopping Centre well advanced, the appeal of our town as a regional shopping destination is guaranteed.”
The overall cost of the scheme in 2019/20 is estimated to be £1,044,705 and will provide support to nearly 350 retail businesses. Central government will reimburse the council for the local share of the discount.
Some types of businesses will not qualify for the discount, such as banks, building societies, payday lenders, pawn brokers, estate agents and letting agents, vets, dentists and doctors.
Published on February 8, 2019