Boost for businesses after harsh winter trading losses

Small traders celebrated

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AROUND £1m could be pumped back into the local economy over the next two years thanks to a new scheme.

East Hampshire District Council is administering a scheme whereby business premises below a certain size can have up to £1,000 cut from their business rate bills for 2014/15 and 2015/16.

It is expected that around 500 East Hampshire businesses will qualify for the relief.

The scheme is aimed at shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and other retail establishments and is hoped to be a boon for businesses in a difficult financial climate.

The terms of the scheme have been set down by the council, which will be refunded by the government.

Businesses are encouraged to apply to the council to see if they qualify for the rate relief.

Cllr Ferris Cowper, East Hampshire’s leader, said: ‘This is fantastic news for many local businesses around East Hampshire for whom £1,000 off their business rates is a real, tangible benefit.

‘EHDC is looking to become one of the most business-friendly councils in Britain and schemes like this help us work towards that position.’

Businesses flooded during the winter may also be eligible for three months of rate relief.

Any business whose premises was flooded and trade adversely affected, between December 1 and March 31, stands to gain from the scheme.

For more information call 01730 234400.