Local Businesses Urged to Take Part in Rate Relief Scheme Consultation

New proposals to redirect business rate relief from national chains to support smaller firms could come into force in Wales from next year.

As previously announced, a permanent Small Business Rates Relief Scheme will be introduced in Wales from 1 April 2018, helping provide certainty and security for small businesses.

The Welsh Government has now launched a consultation seeking the views of business owners and ratepayers, and Wrexham’s Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths, is hoping local residents take part.  She said: “Powers surrounding business rates were devolved to Wales as the Valuation Office Agency’s revaluation took place so the temporary schemes initiated helped settle and stabilise the situation.”

“A permanent support scheme had already been announced by the Welsh Government but there is now an ideal opportunity to consider how we can make our small business rates relief fit for the future.  The new scheme will aim to target the support more effectively towards those businesses that need it most, supporting jobs and growth as well as delivering wider benefits for our local communities.”

“This is an issue in Wrexham and across the country, with many constituents contacting me over recent months.  I am sure a tax cut for smaller businesses will be welcomed and I would urge all interested parties to make their views known.”

This year, the Welsh Government is providing more than £110m of rates relief for small businesses.  The new permanent scheme will maintain this level of investment.

The Welsh Government believes the tax cut will help drive long-term economic growth across Wales, with the launch of the consultation marking the start of an extensive discussion with ratepayers, business representatives, other taxpayers and local authorities.

Redirecting rate relief from national chains to support smaller businesses such as local shops, cafes and restaurants is one proposal.  Another suggestion is whether any additional types of businesses should be exempt from the scheme moving forward.  The consultation also asks how the permanent scheme could be used to support certain industries or sectors, such as childcare, should there be a robust evidence base to do so.

The consultation is open until Friday 13 October and can be found here