MIDDLESBROUGH’S thriving small business community is being supported and encouraged with two new business rates schemes.
Middlesbrough Council’s proposals will firstly encourage traders to set up or expand in the town and secondly to support existing businesses who have adversely affected by increased bills following the Government’s rating revaluation.
The first scheme, funded by Middlesbrough Council, will provide discretionary rate relief for businesses, so long as they meet a set of eligibility criteria.
However, a non-exhaustive list of those who will not be eligible has already been drawn up, including betting shops, takeaways, payday loan shops, pawn brokers and temporary lets.
The second scheme will help to support smaller businesses who have been adversely affected by increases in their rates bills following the recent Government rating revaluation.
The Council will target this funding to eligible small businesses who have a rateable value of less than £200,000 and have seen an increase in their bills of more than £100 or 5%. It is estimated that approximately 350 business could be eligible for this support. The Council will contact those businesses, encouraging them to apply for the relief in the next few weeks.
Cllr Nicky Walker, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Finance and Governance, said: “We don’t ever want to be in a position where someone would love to open a bar, a restaurant, a shop, a beauticians or anything else and decides it’s too much of a risk because of business rates.
“We hope these business rate relief schemes will encourage new business and let existing businesses know that we want to support them to be a success in Middlesbrough.”
The schemes come on top of Middlesbrough Council’s Investment Prospectus which will see the authority invest £74m in order to unlock more than £700m of private inward investment.
Middlesbrough’s Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for City Strategy, Cllr Charlie Rooney, said: “From the Corner Emporium to Baker and Bedford Street to our current investment strategy, Middlesbrough Council has long recognised the important role small businesses play in creating a unique offer which will draw more people into Middlesbrough.
“Our city centre is seeing huge investments at the moment from the private sector and from the Council itself and we continue to make great strides in cementing our position as the economic heart of the Tees Valley.”