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Council help for small businesses

Ipswich Borough Council are offering more help for cash-strapped small companies after a campaign to raise awareness of business rates relief.

Currently, businesses which have a single premises with a rateable value of £6,000 a year or less are entitled to 100% rate relief. Others are entitled to a percentage of rate relief if their businesses premises are valued at between £6000 and £12,000.

This has earned 1,174 of them a cool £1.9 million in Ipswich, but some businesses have not applied for the relief because they don’t know they are eligible. Following a targeted publicity campaign by the Council and the Suffolk Chamber, a further 124 companies have now been signed up bringing a further £111,000 into the town.

Business rates are set nationally by the Government and collected in Ipswich by the Borough Council. Small Business Rate Relief does not cost the council tax-payer anything but could be a life-saver for a small business or start-up company.

The Borough’s resources portfolio-holder, Councillor Martin Cook said: “In this tough economic climate we want to ensure that as many small businesses as possible apply for all the help they are entitled to. We ran a successful campaign to raise awareness of business rate relief and we are pleased with the take-up that has cost the council tax-payers of Ipswich nothing. We know there are still a few businesses who have not applied and we hope that they will take advantage of the scheme and contact us.

“This Council is committed to supporting businesses through a number of initiatives, including business rate relief, cheaper parking in the town centre and the Test Trading retail start-up scheme.”

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