Thousands of businesses in Merton could be eligible for a sizeable chunk of money off their rate bill with the council stepping in to grant the discount.
Local authorities can now grant a discount of up to £1,000 to eligible business owners with properties below a given rateable value for the next two years (2014/15 and 2015/16).
Merton’s revenue and benefits team will automatically apply the discount to retail properties where it is clear the business premises meet the criteria.
Merton Council’s Leader, Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “I was the spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses before becoming Leader of the Council, so I know how challenging it is for businesses these days. That’s why I am speeding up the process by identifying who qualifies and then applying the discount directly to them without bureaucratic form filling. This is a business-like council that understands how hard times are for local business people right now.”
The council is also helping businesses with a raft of other support on rate bills such as rate relief and hardship relief.
Councilllor Alambritis added: “In addition to helping businesses with their rate bills we have also frozen council tax for the fourth year in a row. This will mean people living in Merton will have a bit more to spend with local businesses too.”
Notes to editors
- To qualify for the discount business owners must have premises with a rateable value of £50,000 or less.
- The premises must be retail and wholly or mainly used as shops, restaurants, cafes, and drinking establishments
- Firms seeking more information should call the business rates team on 020 8545 3919