Small business rate relief warning issued

Credit: South Lakeland District Council

The owners of around 1,500 small businesses are being warned to act fast or face a surprise bill.

South Lakeland District Council has written to those currently receiving small business rate relief saying they must reapply for 2017/18 or risk missing out.

Last month the council sent letters to around 4,500 small business owners informing them of a review and enclosing an application form.

The council says while around 70 per cent of businesses responded quickly - and have already reapplied for small business rate relief - around 1,500 still have not returned their application forms and will now receive a polite reminder.

“The review is to ensure that those who receive small business rate relief are entitled to it. We have no choice but to ask every business owner who currently receives it to reapply so that we can be absolutely sure they meet the criteria.”

"Businesses need to act swiftly. Those who have not reapplied will not have the business rate relief on their bills from 1 April which are due to begin arriving this week.

“Some of these bills could come as a big surprise, particularly for businesses which haven’t been paying any business rates for a number of years. However, I’d like to reassure small business owners that they still have time to reapply and those who remain entitled to it will continue to receive this important financial assistance. We want businesses to receive this relief and if they have any questions our officers will be ready to give help and advice.”

– Cllr Peter Thornton, SLDC Leader