?300m discretionary support fundHammond acknowledged that re-evaluation of rates had created ?hard cases?, and responded with a ?discretionary support fund? to support the most vulnerable business owners. Through a ?300m ?discretionary relief? fund local authorities will be able to give direct financial support to local businesses facing the biggest increases in rates. London?s independent retailers are braced for a doubling of existing rates under re-evaluation, and James Lowman, CEO of the?Association of Convenience Stores, welcomed new business rate reforms. ?The ?300m discretionary fund given to local authorities could provide welcome relief to the hardest hit by business rates increases,? he said.
?50 cap for businesses taken out of rate reliefSmall business owners losing their current rate relief after the re-evaluation will be supported by a cap to business rate increases. No business taken out of the relief scheme will be charged more than ?50 per month. Under the reformed system, subsequent rate increases will be capped at ?50 per month or the new transitional relief cap, whichever is highest.
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?1,000 discount for pubsLocal pubs with a rateable value of under ?100,000 have been handed a discount of ?1,000 ahead of the imminent re-evaluation. This scheme means that nine in every ten UK landlords will be supported in absorbing their updated business rates bill for 2017/18. Speaking to Business Advice on the new discount, CEO of pub chain St Peter?s Brewery, Steve Mangall, welcomed the recognition of ?the plight of pubs and the struggles they face?. ?Pubs are still closing at an alarming rate, hopefully this will ease some of the pressure,? Mangall added.
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