Transitional Relief is now in place to help manage the impact on businesses, limiting the amount of the increase in business rates that can come in to force each year, says Lambeth’s deputy council leader responsible for finance.

Cllr Imogen Walker told Thursday’s meeting of Lambeth council that for small businesses this is five per cent each year and for medium businesses the maximum increase is 12.5pc per annum.

But this only applies for two years.

In addition, the government has brought in three extra relief schemes to help businesses.

1: £1000 rate reduction for pubs with RV of over £100k
2: Monthly business rate limited to £50 for small businesses who have not paid rates before and are only now doing so due to an increase through Revaluation.
3: £5m over four years to fund a local discretionary scheme

“Lambeth has now awarded reliefs in all three schemes and rebilled 476 businesses. “We have also designed our own robust discretionary scheme to ensure the £5 million made available to us is used to support those businesses that need the most help.

“Our local Discretionary Business Rates Hardship Scheme is targeting:
Micro businesses with an increased RV (rateable value) through revaluation
Small businesses with an increased RV through revaluation
Businesses which contribute to the night time economy
Small music venues
Pubs, bars and restaurants
Businesses who add social value in the borough
Businesses who employ Lambeth residents
Businesses who pay the London Living Wage and so support our financial resilience strategy Businesses pushed above £100k RV through revaluation and therefore only seeing their increase capped at 42 pc through transitional relief
Properties affected by Network Rail regeneration

“The scheme is means tested to ensure the limited budget available reaches those businesses that really need help.

“Some councils have taken a blanket approach and given all businesses a percentage of their increase back as relief.

“We concluded a case by case approach would enable us to make better use of the available budget as well as allow us to use our local knowledge to target resources to best effect.

“Businesses are also being engaged through their Business Improvement Districts (BID) to ensure they are aware of these reliefs and are encouraged to apply for them.

“We have engaged with Clapham BID specifically and have awarded £54,000 in discretionary hardship relief to Clapham businesses.

“The revenues team has also provided advice on challenging rateable values and has had success helping a number of businesses achieve a subsequent reduction in their business rates bill, including for around 25 businesses operating on Brixton Station Road.” (Source: Lambeth.gov meetings – council meeting Thursday October 19th. Questions

(Note: To read the full question and answer please go to Question 8. The above version has had all the political spin removed – Ed.)


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