Those who bemoan lack of support to small businesses would have to acknowledge that the UK Government has done the right thing by extending Small Business Relief on business rates with effect from April 2017.
It particularly benefits lock-up shop proprietors or those running licenced trade premises, many of which are now exempt from paying business rates.
Also benefitting from the concession are those occupying smaller office suites or even industrial units up to 2,000/3,000 sq. ft. dependent upon age and quality.
In a climate where real incomes are now being constantly squeezed by pay restraint and creeping inflation and so retail sales are under pressure, this is a welcome boost and particularly benefits businesses here in the North where economic conditions are generally sluggish by comparison with London and South East England.
Certainly, at Andrew Idle Associates we are keenly aware of the importance of this factor and always emphasise commercial premises with a rateable Value of under £12,000 where the full relief can usually be obtained.
A word of caution though – it is normally best to operate a stand-alone business from each unit – as, if the same ratepayer trades from various premises, the Rateable Values will be amalgamated and this could well take them out of the Small Business relief bracket.
Many Landlords are now also well versed in this and arrange separate rating assessments of each lettable unit; they are not however always aware that if such units fall vacant and the rateable value is over £2600, they still have to pay full rates once the statutory void period is used up.