Small firms urged to claim rate reliefBy Paul Robins
January 05, 2009
Reading East MP Rob Wilson and Reading West’s Tory prospective Parliamentary candidate Alok Sharma have teamed up to encourage businesses to apply for rate relief.
The Conservative Party duo met up with Brian Eastman, chairman of Reading Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), to call on firms in the town to check if they are eligible for the discounts.
Small businesses are entitled to discounts off their rates if their property has a rateable value of less than £15,000.
The scheme means the smallest businesses could save as much as £1,100 a year, yet figures for the borough show that a large number of traders are missing out.
All three local councils – Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire – have also backed the campaign which could help smaller firms in the current economic crisis.
Mr Wilson said: “I’m glad that the FSB has joined our campaign to encourage more small businesses to take up this relief and it’s good to see that the local authorities are listening and encouraging businesses in their areas to check if they are eligible.”
Mr Sharma said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the local community and it is absolutely vital that everything possible is done to help them get through the tough economic times and preserve local jobs.
“A saving of up to £1,100 a year will make a real difference for small businesses.”
To check if you are eligible visit www.conservatives.com/smallshops.