Posted: Tue 25th Apr 2017
The government has confirmed the allocation of Â£300m in funding for small companies hardest hit by the controversial business rates revaluation.
The news follows press reports last week that the calling of the snap General Election would delay implementation of the relief.
The Guardian said it has been told by the Department for Communities and Local Government that it would be up to the new administration to publish a response to the consultation on how best to implement the scheme.
But in an apparent u-turn, communities secretary Sajid Javid said on Monday that there would be "absolutely no delay because of the general election" and the relief will "go ahead exactly as planned with "councils free to start using the scheme and helping local businesses".
Ministers faced strong pressure earlier this year to help small businesses after it emerged that some face significant hikes in bills following the first revaluation of properties in seven years.
Writing on Enterprise Nation, Rosie Wolfenden, co-founder of Tatty Devine, explained how her East London shop has seen a 265% in its rateable value and a Â£1,000 bill increase.
Chancellor Philip Hammond responded by announcing the business rates relief scheme in his Spring Budget.
A total of Â£300m is available over the next four years and is split across local authorities according to the biggest need.
The funding will be allocated to companies with a business rates increase of more than 12.5% following revaluation and a 2017 rateable value less than Â£200,000.
Unsurprisingly, London receives the highest proportion of funding with Westminster receiving Â£11.6m in 2017-18 and Camden receiving Â£5.6m.
However, less urban areas have also been allocated significant amounts reflecting the impact of rising property prices on small businesses in popular tourists area. Cornwall, for example, gets Â£1.5m, while Brighton & Hove receives Â£1.1m.