Further financial help for businesses from April 2017

The government announced in its Spring Budget on 8 March that there will be more financial help available to support businesses.

Whilst more details will follow, the outline proposals are:

a) £50 per month cap on rates increase for businesses coming out of small business rates relief
b) £1,000 discount per annum for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000
c) £300m discretionary funding to be shared across the country for businesses in financial difficulties

Business rate bills were issued in York on 6 March, but we are reviewing all accounts falling into (a) above, and will be re-issuing bills as soon as possible. Meanwhile, legislation stipulates that businesses must maintain their instalments as shown on their most recent bill to avoid recovery action on any arrears.

In respect of (b) above, the council has commenced awarding the £1,000 discount from 1 April 2017 to eligible pubs that:

  • are open to the general public
  • allow free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided
  • allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed
  • permit drinks to be purchased at a bar

Revised bills are currently being issued along with a declaration to be completed to confirm that the named person has not received more than €200,000 (£162,000) in total of De Minimis aid within the current or previous 2 financial years. Failure to return the declaration will result in the relief being removed. In respect of 'managed pubs' ('managed chains'), the relief has not been awarded and the relevant company should contact us in order to make an application on a 'pub by pub' basis.

Please note the following businesses are excluded from applying for this relief:

  • restaurants
  • cafés
  • nightclubs
  • hotels
  • snack bars
  • guesthouses
  • boarding houses
  • sporting venues
  • music venues
  • festival sites
  • theatres
  • museums
  • exhibition halls
  • cinemas
  • concert halls
  • casinos

In respect of (c) above, the council's Executive approved the Discretionary Rate policy on 18 May 2017. The relief is targeted at businesses which occupy properties with lower rateable values and those which are facing the most significant increases in bills.

Download an application for Discretionary Rate Relief.

Additional information can be provided, however you must sign the State Aid declaration form for your application to be considered.

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