17/07/2014

'Extend Small Business Rate Relief' - NIIRTA

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has called for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme to be extended and enhanced.

The group made the recommendation in its submission to the Review of the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (SBRRS),

Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: "Currently Rates are the only taxation powers of the NI Executive. It has shown imagination and flexibility in using the Rating System to support small businesses and address the issue of empty shops and offices with the Empty Premises Relief.

"NIIRTA has always recognised that the SBRRS is not a 'silver bullet', which will solve the many problems facing the independent retail and small business sector, but was nevertheless a welcome response by the Department of Finance and Personnel in providing a practical form of assistance.

"Approximately one third of our members currently qualify for the SBRRS and we have received positive feedback from our members with many of them saving between £500-£700. Many have reinvested this saving back into their business.

"We would like to see this eligibility considerably expanded as part of any future development of the Scheme. The most common areas of reinvestment identified have been in new IT equipment, signage and staff training."

NIIRTA also called on the Department of Finance and Personnel to establish a "Town Centre Rate Relief Scheme" to provide a 25% reduction for retailers and hospitality businesses in town centres.

(IT/MH)

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