Council steps up support for small businesses with extra funding

12 January 2018

Local discretionary rate relief for small businesses in the borough is to be increased to £2.8m, Kensington and Chelsea Council has announced, in a further bid to soften the effects for business owners of increases in rates which came into force last year.

Spending in the borough will increase by £452,000 to help more small businesses with properties that have rateable values of up to £150,000.

This will include local restaurants, cafés, bars, pubs, hairdressers and launderettes - businesses that form the backbone of the local economy, but which have been affected the most by the revaluation in business rates.

​The revaluation, carried out by the Government’s Valuation Office, and the first since 2010, saw ratepayers in the borough face an overall increase in their rates of 16.8 per cent.

Cllr David Lindsay, Lead Member for Finance and Corporate Services, said:

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy and we’re pleased to be able to extend our help for business owners.

“Small independent businesses already face pressure from online merchants and we fully recognise that the increased rates make the running of local businesses harder. That’s why we want to ensure the funds we have to ameliorate the effects are directed at more of the companies who need it most."

Kensington and Chelsea Council set out plans for a local discretionary rate relief scheme totalling £2.3m last April. Councillors last night agreed that more funding needed to be made available to help more small businesses with the higher bills.

The Council, which collects national non-domestic rates (NNDR) from 8,970 business premises, made representations to the Government, warning that its plans for phasing in the increases from the revaluation could be “hazardous” at a time when economists were predicting slower economic growth. Today’s announcement aims to help more businesses with the financial impact.

Notes to Editors