March 2017 budget proposals

Supporting Small Businesses

The Chancellor announced that a scheme of relief would be made available to ratepayers facing a large increase as a result of losing small business rate relief. This may occur due to an increase in rateable value following the 2017 revaluation.

The supporting small businesses relief will help those ratepayers who, due to change in rateable value at the revaluation, are losing all or part of their small business rate relief or rural rate relief and, as a result, are facing large increases in their rates bill. To support these ratepayers, the supporting small businesses relief will ensure that the increase per year in bills is limited to the greater of:

  • A cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month) or
  • The matching cap on increases for small properties in the transitional relief scheme. 

In June 2017 the Government issued detailed guidance on the scheme and revised bills were issued in early October.

Discretionary Revaluation Relief Scheme for businesses facing steepest increase following the 2017 Revaluation

The Chancellor announced a £300 million discretionary fund over four years to support those businesses that face the steepest increases in their business rates bill as a result of the 2017 revaluation.

The intention is that every billing authority will be provided with a share of the £300 million to support their local businesses. The Government has consulted on the design of the discretionary relief scheme and, subsequently, Waverley has consulted on the details of the scheme with the local Chambers of Commerce and Surrey County Council. Revised business rate bills are being sent out in early October.

Waverley has retained part of the funding to establish a hardship fund. The criteria are as follows:

  • All applications will be considered on their own merits in an open and transparent manner.

When considering applications, the council will be mindful of the following matters:

  • Whether the ratepayer, business or organisation provides any benefits to the borough, the community and/or the council tax payer, such as increasing employment or improving amenities available to the local community.
  • Consideration of whether there are other businesses in the area which provide the same or similar services or facilities and whether the award could have an anti-competitive effect on other businesses in the borough.
  • Consideration of whether there are other businesses in the area which provide the same or similar services or facilities and the impact of these establishments on neighbourhoods and communities. This is especially relevant for betting shops, payday loan shops and pawnbrokers.
  • The individual merits of each application taking into account whether the business is supporting the council’s wider objectives.
  • The number of employees based in the hereditament on which relief is being sought.
  • The scale of the organisation and whether they are a national/multi-national concern as opposed to a local concern.
  • Whether the business property has empty or occupied periods.
  • Whether the council determines that an intermittent occupation tax mitigation/avoidance scheme is in operation.
  • It is expected that businesses will take prompt action to mitigate any factors giving rise to hardship such as, seeking business advice, reviewing prices, negotiating with creditors and applying for other reliefs and discounts. Applicants must supply their most recent trading accounts, a current cashflow forecast and a comprehensive business plan in order for an application to be considered.

Support for pubs 

The Government has announced a relief scheme for pubs that have a rateable value of below £100,000. In June 2017 the Government issued guidance on the operation of the scheme, which enables our software provider to update our computer systems. The relief will be available to pubs that are open to the general public, generally allow free entry, allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed and permit drinks to be purchased at the bar.

An application form has been sent to premises that are believed to be elegible for pub relief. If you believe that your business is elegible and have not received an application form please contact the Revenues team on 01483 523522.

Page owner: Harri Robinson. Last updated: 01/12/2017 14:15