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Cabinet approve business rate discount

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 Andy Smith, Leader of Lewes District Council, said: “This is really good news and a welcome boost for smaller businesses on our high street where conditions are undoubtedly very challenging.

“This council is working very hard across a number of commercial initiatives and developments that will bring huge benefits to the district, not least for many of our retailers.”

The overall cost of the scheme in 2019/20 is estimated to be £863,241 and will provide support to 302 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 12 February, 2019