More business rates relief announced for Welsh SMEs

Welsh Assembly Finance Minister Rebecca Evans has announced an additional £24.2m to support businesses in 2020-21 through the Welsh Government’s high street and retail rates’ relief scheme.

The scheme, first introduced in 2017, is being extended for a further year to offer support to over 15,000 Welsh SMEs, including shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and wine bars.

For many retailers with properties attracting a rateable value of £9,100 or less, it will mean no business rates at all. Retail properties with an RV over the threshold, bills will see a reduction of £2,500.

Evans said the extended relief scheme was to provide “much-needed support for struggling retailers in Wales” whilst helping to keep the high street vibrant and at the heart of local communities.

The Welsh Government also announced local councils will receive a further £2.4m to provide additional discretionary rates relief that will allow them to respond to specific local issues. This funding will be provided through the local government settlement for 2020-21, taking the total being provided to local authorities for discretionary relief to £4.8m for 2020-21.

The new reliefs will continue to be administered by local authorities across the country and businesses will have to apply for them, they will not be automatically applied to business rate bills.