Rates relief scheme a big deal for small businesses in Wrexham

Reporter:

Rory Sheehan

MORE small businesses in Wrexham will be provided with support and security, according to the Welsh Government, thanks to the new Small Business Rates Relief scheme.

The permanent scheme, which has been welcomed by Wrexham’s Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths, will be introduced in Wales from April 1 next year.

It will limit the number of properties eligible for small business rates relief to two per business in each local authority, preventing larger businesses and national chains from benefiting from the scheme.

This will allow relief to be channelled and targeted more effectively, with an anticipated
£7 million being reinvested to support small and local businesses every year.

Childcare providers will benefit from extra support, with their upper threshold for rates relief increasing from £12,000 to £20,500, while the scheme also provides £5m across Wales to extend the temporary high streets rates relief scheme into 2018-19.

In addition to providing more than £110m of support for small businesses in Wales every year, local authorities will receive an extra £1.3m to provide targeted relief to local businesses which would benefit most from additional assistance, offering greater flexibility.

Ms Griffiths AM: “Business rates have been a prominent issue in Wrexham and across the country, particularly this year after the Valuation Office Agency’s revaluation came into effect in April.

“This new permanent relief scheme provides certainty and security for businesses.

“The targeted approach will offer greater relief to small businesses that need it most, supporting local jobs and economic growth, as well as delivering wider benefits to our local community.”

While the Small Business Rate Relief scheme will be introduced on a permanent basis from April 1, the Welsh Government will continue to look at ways of developing the scheme to ensure it best meets the needs of small businesses and local communities across Wales.

Alex Jones, chairman of Wrexham’s Town Centre Forum and proprietor of The Bank Wine Bar in the town centre, said it was a case of “wait and see” when it came to the impact the temporary high street rates relief would have.

He said: “Some business rates are still quite high, depending on your net turnover.

“Net turnover doesn’t mean profitability and if your net turnover increases, then your rates increase, so it depends what the guidelines are and whether the relief applies to every business not just those of a certain size.

“There are a lot of factors on the way rates are evaluated and I think they do need an overhaul as it is quite an old-fashioned system, times have changed.

“There is more internet and home shopping, but to have a shop is a really good thing and people are very proud to have them.

“But having a shop means more overheads, especially on the high street, it’s very expensive and maybe they need to look at other ways and have different structures in place.

“We won’t really know the impact until we get the next bills.”

Email:

rory.sheehan@nwn.co.uk

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