Rallying call for businesses to apply for rate relief

Companies across West Oxfordshire are being urged to sign up for business rate relief which could be worth thousands of pounds.

More than 200 businesses have so far received relief totalling more than £250,000 after new rateable values were introduced in April but many have still not taken the opportunity to apply for discretionary rate relief awards worth up to £11,500.

Print services firm Fineprint, which employs 60 staff in Witney, was facing a rates hike of almost £8,000 following the revaluation but received discretionary rate relief of almost £5,000 which helped reduce the financial impact.

Managing director Dan Bakewell (pictured) said: “West Oxfordshire District Council made us aware of the relief available and it was a very easy form to complete. Then we did not have to do anything and we received the new assessment.

“Having the impact of the rates rise reduced has really helped the business.”

Central government has allocated £300m for local authorities to create local discretionary relief schemes to help those affected by the rates rise.

Funding available for local authorities is expected to last four years but the amount will reduce each year.

Cllr Toby Morris, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “We know there are still many businesses in the District which have not got around to applying for discretionary rate relief yet. We have written to all businesses who we think may benefit, over 500 in total, but have been disappointed with the response so far – the form couldn’t be easier to complete, it only needs a signature.

“We want to support the local economy and we have money available which could make a big difference to companies facing a significant rate rise so I would encourage as many as possible to apply.”

Business owners who think they may be eligible for relief should contact the council on 01993 861070.

For more details see: www.westoxon.gov.uk/businessrates

West Oxfordshire District Council
Elmfield
New Yatt Road
Witney
OX28 1PB