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Rates relief will help small businesses and pubs cope with government rate raise

Islington Council has agreed a rate relief scheme to help local small businesses and pubs cope with the impact of the Government’s business rate rise.

Companies in Islington have seen some of the biggest business rate increases in the country following the Government’s national revaluation.  The worst-hit local firms will be facing an average 42 per cent rise in their business rates by 2020/21.

Earlier this year, the council, local business and neighbouring local authorities voiced strong concerns about the impact of the revaluation, including a petition with 14,250 signatures against the incrase.  Following this, the Government announced extra funding to local authorities to help businesses facing rate increases following its revaluation.

Islington Council last night (Thursday) agreed to target this money for three fair and proportionate rate reliefs to support small business, pubs, and a third discretionary relief programme.

However the council’s executive also noted that “the additional funding is unlikely to be enough to ease the increased financial burden for the majority of local businesses” and that the money made available for rate relief by Government is less than 3 per cent of the total extra sum businesses will have to pay as a result of the revaluation. 

Cllr Asima Shaikh, Islington Council’s executive member for economic development, said: “Following serious concerns from across London, including business and the council in Islington, the Government announced a last-minute rate relief plan.

“We welcome this money and have set up a programme that will bring some rate relief to businesses and pubs in Islington who need it most.

“However, the £8.6million in rate relief that the Government has allocated to Islington is a drop in the ocean compared with the £315million extra business will pay in the same period, and it is unlikely to ease the increased burden for most Islington businesses.”

She added: “While the rate relief money is welcome, it was very disappointing the Government announced it at the last minute and with no warning – this greatly delayed the speed at which rate relief could be brought to those who need it most.”

Businesses that qualify for reliefs have been identified. Bills with lower amounts for small businesses and pubs will begin to be sent out from next month (October), and the discretionary relief will begin by November.

The full Executive report can be found here


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