Monmouth and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce

New consultation on Small Business Rate Relief 2018-19 onwards

David Cummings, Chairman of Monmouth and District Chamber of Commerce (MDCTC) commented:

"The consultation document (see below) from the Welsh Government on a new scheme for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) was issued on 21st July 2017 with a twelve week consultation period. MDCTC will continue to work closely with Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) during the consultation process to come up with an appropriate response and a meeting is being planned for early September with the other business organisations in Monmouthshire to discuss the document . MDCTC and MCC will be comparing the suggestions made in the consultation document with the current SBRR systems in operation in England and Scotland. MDCTC is also in touch with business organisations in Brecon, Conwy, Cowbridge, Fishguard and Lampeter so that a pan Wales balanced view can be made on this new permanent system for SBRR for 2018/19 onwards, but one that includes the special issues affecting the businesses of Monmouth. In a letter to me of 11th July from Minister Mark Drakeford on the consultation, he indicated that although the new SBRR system would be permanent, the Welsh Government intends to keep the support they provide under review so they can be responsive to changing business needs."

Please click here to open/download the consultation document.

High Street Rates Relief Scheme

23rd March 2017

David Cummings, Chairman

The following document from the Welsh Government goes into more detail (than MCC covering letter document) on which businesses are eligible and which are not, for the Targeted High Street Rates Relief Scheme, which they refer to with the letters HSRR.

There is an example on page 9 of HSRR for Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies.

Please read page 10 carefully and only fill in the declaration and return it, if you do not want to receive HSRR.

To download the FULL version please click here

Business Rates Revaluation

17th March 2017.

David Cummings Chairman of Monmouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce commented:

Retailers will remember how hard the Chamber and other organisations fought for more money for relief for those affected by large hikes in business rates as a result of the business rateable value revaluation, details of which came out in October 2016. On 17th December the Welsh Government announced a new Targeted High Street Rate Relief Scheme (THSRRS). On 14th March MCC Finance Department finally received enough information on  THSRRS to define how it would be applied. Possibly as a result of my insistence,  there will be a covering letter with every business rate demand going out in the next week or so explaining, not only THSRRS,  but also transitional relief and how it will be applied. It is evident that some county councils have sent out rate demands without explaining what THSRRS is and how it will be applied.

The covering letter explains what THSRRS is and is after this introduction. It is important to stress for Tier 1 relief only that relief will be paid to businesses who have seen an increase in their business rates, where they will expect to pay the same, or even where there has been a fall. It is expected that MCC Finance Department will be able to make adjustment for the THSRRS mid-summer,  so for those paying rates on Direct Debit the payment can be adjusted. I am pleased to inform you that MCC have decided to take a fairly loose interpretation to the words “High Street” in THSRRS and apply the benefits to all retail premises in towns in the county. They estimate that about 400 out of 3167 businesses with rateable premises will qualify. There are terms and conditions imposed by WG so out of town, empty properties, doctors, dentists, hotels and self-catering will not be eligible for THSRRS. Pubs will be eligible.

I believe that at this point we should give thanks that not only the Chamber,  but MCC have done such a great job in fighting the cause and on keeping businesses informed. It is evident that no other county council has done half as much. We fully support the points raised in Bob Greenland’s letter to Mark Drakeford -see next item on this web page.

Business Rates Revaluation 1

Business Rates Revaluation 2

Mark Drakeford AM - Recent Revaluation of Business Rates

Mark Drakeford AM Recent Revaluation of Business Rates Page 1

Mark Drakeford AM Recent Revaluation of Business Rates Page 2

Chamber of Commerce unhappy about new business rate support scheme announced on 17th February

The Chamber, Monmouthshire County Council and others fought last autumn and early winter to secure a better deal for hard pressed small businesses facing huge rateable value increases. What we have been given is a completely different animal – a General High Streets Rate Relief Scheme.

The statement in the press last Friday from Minister Mark Drakeford seems both ambiguous and contradictory.

Chamber members are pressing me on the issue, but it is impossible on the information provided so far to suggest what their rates payable in April might actually be.

We are very pleased that MCC has called an emergency meeting of the Chambers of the County for Tuesday 21st February to discuss the new scheme.

As they are the organisation with the unenviable task of calculating each business's rate demand and understanding the scattergun measures proposed by the Welsh government, we are confident that their understanding will be greater than ours.  However, I fear that MCC will still need to seek further clarification from the Welsh Government.

We find the delay by the Welsh government in announcing the measures, from 17th December until 17th February, totally unacceptable and a situation, which has caused great stress amongst business owners.

David Cummings, Chairman

The waiting game

Additional £10m Targeted Business Rates Relief Scheme – Welsh Government

Before Christmas Welsh Government announced that it had allocated £10m for a targeted business rates relief scheme, which would be in addition to the transitional relief that had previously been announced.

It has been stated that the relief will be targeted at high-street ratepayers – shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes, including those which have seen their rates increase significantly as a result of the 2017 revaluation undertaken by the independent Valuation Office Agency.

This announcement is available via the following link:

http://gov.wales/newsroom/localgovernment/2016/161217-business-rates-support/?lang=en

Monmouthshire County Council and other local authorities are working closely with Welsh Government to finalise the scheme.

We understand that Welsh Government are looking to make full details of the scheme available at the end of February.

We shall update you as soon as we have further information.