Traders in Rye have had a tough time recently due to the current economic climate and compounded further by the continual wet weather and now with the arrival of Covid-19 coronavirus.
The fire at the George Hotel has also had a huge impact on the town in so many ways but in amongst all the current negativity there is a faint light at the end of the tunnel.
Looking at https://www.gov.uk/browse/business/premises-rates this morning there may be a glimmer of hope for some of our local businesses, some of which may be eligible for discounts from the local council on their business rates, i.e. business rates relief.
In 2017 there was a revaluation of business rates and the government announced there will be extra relief for businesses in England with the biggest rates increases. The rates year is from 1 April to 31 March of the following year.
Small business rate relief applies if your property’s value is less than £15,000 and your business only uses one property, however you may still be able to get relief if you use more. You will not pay business rates on a property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less and for properties with a rateable value of £12,001 to £15,000, the rate of relief will go down gradually from 100% to 0%.
For example, If your rateable value is £13,500 you will get 50% off your bill. If your rateable value is £14,000 you will get 33% off. When you get a second property, you will keep getting any existing relief on your main property for 12 months. Transitional relief limits how much your bill can change each year as a result of revaluation.
Owners of empty properties will have to pay full business rates, but do not have to pay anything for the first three months if the property is empty. If you think you are eligible to apply for small business rate relief contact Rother District Council on rother.gov.uk
Hardship relief is another area which may benefit some local businesses particularly those directly affected by the closure of the George Hotel as your business could be classed as being affected by local disruption.
You may get a temporary reduction in your business rates by reporting that something external to the premises has affected its value and this includes flooding, building works or roadworks. Hardship relief could apply but to be considered you must satisfy the council that without the relief you would a) be in financial difficulties without it and b) giving hardship relief to you is in the interests of local people.
We all face difficult and challenging times ahead no matter what we do or who we are but by sharing helpful information it might make the bitter pill a little easier to swallow.
Image Credits: Rye News Library .