Further support for high street traders outlined by Welsh Government

Local businesses will continue to receive support in order to pay their rate bills as the Welsh Labour Government announces a further extension to its business rates relief scheme.

Over 15,000 small and medium-sized businesses are expected to be supported via the High Street and Retail Rates Relief scheme during the next financial year and Wrexham’s Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths has welcomed the news.

In December 2018, the Welsh Government launched the enhanced High Street and Retail Rates Relief scheme for 2019-20.  Its intention was to target support to help high street retailers who are struggling in the face of economic conditions and competition from online and out-of-town providers.

Extending the High Street and Retail Rates Relief scheme for a further year will result in £24.2m being invested into Wales’ high streets.

The scheme, which is fully funded by the Welsh Government, will reduce rates bills to zero for retail properties with a rateable value up to £9,100 and reduce bills by £2,500 for properties with a higher rateable value.

Lesley Griffiths AM said: “Traditional high street retailers have faced significant obstacles in recent times, however, this Welsh Labour Government investment will make a positive difference.”

“The crucial, targeted support can help the smaller businesses in Wrexham such as shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs that are the lifeblood of our local economy.  It will ensure high street retailers receive support to pay their bills and can continue to provide much-needed services in their local communities.”

In addition to the High Street and Retail Rates Relief scheme, more than £230m will be provided by the Welsh Labour Government to help businesses pay their bills, an increase of £20m on the previous year.  This funding ensures half of all eligible businesses pay no rates at all.

A further £2.4m will also be allocated to local authorities to provide additional discretionary rates relief for local businesses and other ratepayers to respond to specific local issues.  This funding will be provided through the local government settlement, taking the total being provided to local authorities for discretionary relief to £4.8m for 2020-21.

The High Street and Retail Rates Relief scheme will continue to be administered by local authorities on an application basis and operates in addition to the wide range of other support provided by the Welsh Government.