A new discretionary business rate relief scheme has been launched by Leeds City Council to offer extra financial support to businesses making a positive social contribution.
The support will be targeted at social enterprises, businesses in their first three years of trading, and those which have a social or civic purpose delivering wider benefits to local people and communities.
Successful applicants will receive up to £15,000 off their annual business rate bills, giving recipients leeway to invest in innovation, research and development, or ease growing pressure on operating costs.
Businesses will be expected to sign a CSR pledge that will see them commit to actions such as hosting community-based activities or improving the skills and employability of young people. The support is intended to allow firms to retain and create the kind of high-quality employment opportunities that underpin the council’s ambitions for inclusive growth.
The new scheme has a capped budget of £1.75m per annum, with 50 per-cent of its costs being met by central government. Priority will be given to applications from businesses occupying premises that have a Rateable Value between £15,000 and £51,000.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “The discretionary business rate relief scheme will allow us to support our local economy while helping us deliver value for the taxpayer and local communities, by supporting businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs whose products and services have a positive impact on life in Leeds.
Business are able to apply for the discretionary business rate relief scheme here.