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Government's business rates discount coming into force
Small shops across the borough will have more money in their bank accounts after the council cuts business rates.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the autumn statement that local authorities would provide rateable relief of up to £1,000 to all occupied retail properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less.
The Government will reimburse councils for the income lost from this discount, which will be in force for the next two financial years.
More than 650 shops in Hertsmere, including those that sell food and drink, hairdressers, dry cleaners and travel agents, will feel the benefit over the next few weeks.
Councillor John Graham, who is responsible for finance and property for Hertsmere Borough, said: “Although Hertsmere as a borough has a relatively strong economy, our high streets have of course suffered from the economic downturn. The retail sector is constantly changing and facing new challenges so I am sure the discounts to business rates will be very widely welcomed."
Cllr Seamus Quilty, who is responsible for housing and economic development, said the council would be consulting residents on its economic development strategy to ensure a “vibrant, prosperous future”.
He added: "There is enormous potential for Hertsmere to grow further as a business hub. We will be speaking to local residents and engaging with businesses through our new chamber of commerce, Hertsmere Connect, and seeing what we can do to encourage further investment in the area to regenerate local high streets."
Ian Welland, chief executive of Hertsmere Connect and Watford and West Herts Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the reduction in rates.
He said: "With the challenges and demands facing businesses in an uncertain climate, any helping hand provided by these discounts is to be warmly welcomed. Hertsmere Connect is committed to optimising benefits and opportunities for all our members across the borough and improve prosperity in the area."
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