Retailers across Bath and North East Somerset are being urged to check whether they are eligible for a discount to their business rate bill, with hundreds of businesses yet to enquire.
It’s thought up to 800 retailers across Bath and North East Somerset might qualify for the discount, but so far only 433 have applied to Bath & North East Somerset Council.
Business rates are set be central government and the income is collected by local authorities.
The Government announced in its Autumn Budget that over the next two financial years, 2019/20 and 2020/21, retail premises with a rateable value of £51,000 or less could be awarded a discount of up to one third of their bill.
Councillor Richard Samuel, Deputy Council Leader and cabinet member for Resources, said: “We’ve awarded retailers across the district £1.4m in Retail Discount, but hundreds more are missing out on the savings being offered.
“Business rates are one of the biggest fixed costs for retailers and at a time when they are facing difficult trading conditions I’d urge all those who think they qualify to apply.
“We sent out application forms to businesses we thought would qualify earlier this year, but it’s not too late to return them or download and send us a new form from our website.”
To qualify for the discount, the business premises must be occupied and be wholly or mainly used to sell goods, services or food and drink to members of the public.
Examples include: shops, opticians, hair dressers, post offices, garden centres, markets, petrol stations, restaurants and bars.
The awards are discretionary and will be assessed by the council on a case by case basis. Premises which are not reasonably accessible to members of the public, or those which are not mainly used for the qualifying purpose will not be eligible for the discount.
The amount of discount awarded will be one third of the net Business Rate bill. This means the total amount granted will vary depending on the rateable value of the property.
There is no discount for premises with a rateable value of more than £51,000.00. The council will assess eligibility and calculate the total award of the discount to the net Business Rates bill after applying any other relief.
Business rate payers who occupy more than one property will be entitled to discounts on each of their eligible properties subject to the State Aid De Minimis limits.
To apply visit: https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/business/business-rates/business-rate-retail-discount, complete the Retail Discount Application Form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.