Autumn Statement: a boost for rural communities

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement  a move to provide 100% rate relief to the most rural areas, completely removing the burden of business rates and safeguarding small businesses that are the “lifeblood of rural communities”.

Rural rate relief is the scheme offered to rural businesses in place of regular small business rate relief. Before today’s announcement, only 50 per cent of rate relief was mandatory for small companies, while the remaining 50 per cent was allocated at the discretion of local authorities.

The move has been praised as “excellent news” by a spokesperson from insurer NFU Mutual. “The decision reflects the chancellor’s commitment to investing in productivity across the UK including its regions, freeing up cash for beneficiary businesses to invest in their own growth” a spokesperson said.

The chancellor announced the full business rate relief for the following rural businesses serving populations of under 3,000:

  • The only village shop or post office with a rateable value of up to £8,500
  • The only public house or petrol station with a rateable value of up to £12,500

The Federation of Small Businesses support the move saying “We are pleased with the decision to make rural rate relief fairer for small firms and rural communities”.

For further information and to see if you qualify, please refer to central government website Autumn Statement announcement. 

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