Rate relief for small firms in Morecambe

Photo: David Hurst'Janette Currah in her new retro shop at 19 Pedder Street, Morecambe
Photo: David Hurst'Janette Currah in her new retro shop at 19 Pedder Street, Morecambe
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Small business owners in Morecambe are likely to be thousands of pounds better off when changes to rate payments come into effect next year.

According to the latest rates assessments, 210 out 0f 330 businesses within the Morecambe Business Improvement District (BID) zone have a rateable value of less than £12,000, and will therefore become exempt from April next year.

John O’Neill, chamber manager of North Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said there is currently a 100 per cent rate relief for properties with a value of £6,000 or less, with full rates payable above the £6,000. However the government is likely to be changing this, with the new system coming into effect by April 2017.

Mr O’Neill said: “This is really good news for smaller businesses with a rateable value under £12,000.

“Like all pieces of legislation it is subject to passing in Parliament however I would expect it to pass as it takes a big burden off smaller retailers and businesses.

“The extra thousands of pounds that this will leave in small businesses could be a real saviour for the future of the High Street in general.”

Janette Currah, who runs The Vintage Cafe in Euston Road, said the rate relief would have a huge difference on the effectiveness of her business.

She said: “It’s a lot of money, so roll on April! It will certainly take a lot of pressure off as it works out at about £400 a month for me. It will make a huge difference.”

Mr O’Neill added: “These savings may mean that business can expand, take on more staff or increase their product line but in the days of increasing online competition every help is welcomed.

All they’ll pay is the levy which is a fraction and will be spent directly in the BID zone.

“Many High Street businesses are already at a disadvantage against online stores because internet businesses don’t have as many of the costs associated with having a storefront”.

Around 60 businesses in Lancaster BID zone will also be eligible for 100 per cent rate relief from April 2017.