More businesses in Derby may be eligible for Discretionary Rate Relief (DRR) if changes to Council policy are approved at Cabinet next week.
Eligible retailers will receive a one third discount on the Business Rates bills in 19/20 and 20/21. To be eligible they must; occupy a property that has a rateable value of less than £51,000 and be using the property wholly or mainly as a shop, restaurant, café or drinking establishment.
DRR allows the Council to use its discretionary powers to reduce the amount of Business Rates a business has to pay. Generally there is a direct cost to the Council when awarding Relief and so it has been controlled through the operation of a Policy for a number of years.
However, due to changes announced at the Autumn Budget 2018, including the introduction of a new Scheme (Retail Discount, Section 20, page 23) and the extension of an existing Scheme (Office Space Occupied by Local Newspapers Relief, Section 16, page 15) the Council’s Policy is being refreshed and any award made as a result of these changes will be fully funded by the Government by way of Section 31 grants meaning there will be no additional cost to the Council.
If businesses meet the criteria for Relief it will be automatically awarded without the need to apply and bills for 2019/20 will reflect the change. After the initial awards any new businesses will be also able to apply.
Cllr Nicola Roulstone, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement said:
“This is really good news for our small businesses. We want all our businesses to grow and thrive and so everything we can do to support them is to be welcomed.
“It’s a huge benefit to be able to do this without it impacting our already extremely tight budget.”
Much of the Policy, including the criteria for awarding Reliefs to charities and non-profit making organisations has not changed as a result of this update.