1. ITV Report

£10m scheme to provide support for high street businesses

The money will support almost 15,000 retailers Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

A £10m scheme to provide support for high street businesses across Wales has been announced.

The scheme, which will run from April, will support almost 15,000 shops, restaurants, pubs and cafes, including those which have seen their rates increase.

It will also provide support to other retailers 'who are struggling in the face of economic conditions and competition from online and out-of-town providers.'

Some retailers across Wales are concerned about increases in their rates as a result of the VOA’s revaluation.

We are therefore providing a further £10m to help businesses in those communities which have been adversely affected.

Work is already underway to develop a new permanent small business rates relief scheme for 2018. We are listening to the feedback we have received so we can make the scheme as fair, reasonable and transparent as possible.

– Mark Drakeford AM, Finance Secretary

High street rates relief is unique to Wales and will provide support to small and medium businesses.

Retailers can find out whether they qualify for the the relief scheme in 2017/18 by contacting their local authority.

We welcome that the Welsh Government has made good on its commitment to easing the pressure on high street businesses affected by the introduction of new levels of business rates. We also welcome the Government’s engagement with FSB on this issue in recent months. We would now encourage local authorities to engage quickly with businesses to ensure that all those who are entitled to this relief receive it as quickly and simply as possible.

This will go some way to providing breathing space for many businesses whom we know have been concerned about the impact of new rates bills on their business.

– Ben Cottam, FSB Wales