High street shops urged to think pink and apply for 33% off Business Rates

Release Date: 20 February 2019

Independent Richmond retailers are invited to apply for a third off their business rates bill for 2019/20 and 2020/21, as part of the Council’s Pink Envelope campaign.

The Council has sent out nearly 1,000 pink envelopes containing a letter urging eligible shops, restaurants, cafes and other high street businesses to apply for a share of a new funding pot made available by the Government to help rejuvenate local high streets.

The temporary scheme provides a discount to all occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000. Those eligible will receive a discount of one third of their Business Rate bill for each of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years.

If your business received a pink envelope you still have time to apply on-line so, do not delay. If you did not receive one, but you think you may be eligible, get in touch as soon as possible.

Business rates are set by national government, not by local councils.

Cllr Robin Brown, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Finance, said:

'It is no secret that our high streets are under pressure. Whilst we don’t have too many empty shop units in our borough, businesses are working hard to keep afloat. Rents are high, there is uncertainty around Brexit, consumer habits are changing.

'For our high streets to survive, smaller businesses need help. And, whilst this short-term scheme won’t solve the problem in the long term, it will be a helpful step.

'We believe that around 950 businesses in the borough should be eligible for this discount. So, I encourage those who think that they are eligible, don’t delay and apply online.'

If you haven’t received a pink envelope but think your business might be eligible, go to our business rates section and follow the links to apply.

*If successful, you will receive a revised bill. However, you must continue to pay your business rates according to the latest bill you have received until notified otherwise*

Hear from Cllr Brown on why to apply on YouTube.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P052/19

Updated: 5 March 2019