Open for Business – and cut business rates bill by half

Businesses throughout Wales are being urged to take advantage of a rates relief scheme that could cut their rates bill by half – and help bring empty properties back into use.

The Open for Business rates relief scheme is funded by the Welsh Government and administered by every local authority in Wales. It provides up to 50% relief on business rates for a year for businesses that move into properties that have been empty for twelve months or longer.

Businesses only have six months to take advantage of this scheme as the cut off date is March 31 2015. Eligible applicants need to have taken occupation of their new premises before or by March 31 2015.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said:

“The Open for Business programme can provide a real financial boost for businesses thinking of moving into long term vacant retail premises while also providing a safety net to help small business start- ups in their first year of trading.

“The Welsh Government initiative is specifically geared to support business in Wales’s town centres and shopping areas and forms part of a wider package of support to help develop vibrant and sustainable shopping areas in our cities, towns and villages in both urban and rural areas of Wales.

“There is a six month window for businesses to apply for relief and I would encourage interested businesses and those thinking of starting a new business to contact their local authorities for more detailed information in order to take advantage of this rates reduction.”

The scheme is open to a wide range of businesses – those that are moving into smaller properties that were previously used for retail and that have been vacant for 12 months or more.

In addition businesses may also be eligible to apply for the Wales Retail Relief Scheme where retail, food and drink premises can apply for £1000 off their business rates bill.

Business should contact their local authority to apply for the rate relief or contact the Business Wales hotline for more information Tel 03000 60 3000.