Views Sought On Small Business Rate Relief Scheme

Views are being sought on alternatives to the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme as part of an evaluation being carried out by the Ulster University’s Economic Policy Centre (UUEPC).

The Department of Finance and Personnel commissioned the UUEPC to undertake an evaluation of the Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) scheme, which was introduced in 2014 at the time of the economic downturn.

Finance Minister Mervyn Storey said: "I am inviting views on alternatives to small business rate relief, with a particular focus on town centres. Small business rate relief is a popular scheme but the independent evaluation found it to be poorly targeted.

"I am canvassing views on other targeted measures, including rating and other initiatives that would provide greater support to small businesses than the current scheme.

"This also takes forward some of the issues raised in the recent review of business rates, around piloting local discretion over rate relief and imposing levies on derelict property, to encourage regeneration and investment in some areas.
News Image
"I am keen that my Department explores this further and engages with the business community on some of the ideas set out in this paper to help support our town centres."

Minister for Social Development, Lord Morrow MLA, added: "Our towns and cities have faced many challenges over recent years and they are not as competitive as their national counterparts with the evidence base showing lower levels of employment, enterprise, and population.

"We will aim to drive economic growth, through better targeted support, which facilitates and incentivises investment in our urban centres. Investment that will attract and retain new and existing businesses.

"We acknowledge the impact that technology and consumer habits are having on our town centres and we need innovative measures in response. We want to build on current initiatives like Business Improvement Districts and I look forward to hearing the views of the business community."

Views on the alternatives to the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme can be made between 21 March 2016 and 13 May 2016.


Related Northern Ireland Business News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

16 December 2011
Big Stores 'Tax' Boosts Smaller Ones
A levy on large stores across NI is to go ahead - but at a reduced rate than originally proposed. The 'Tesco tax' as it has been named means that large retailers might then limit investment - and cost job creation opportunities.
17 July 2012
Minister Seeks Views On Small Business Rate Relief Scheme
Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, today announced an in year review of the Small Business Rate Relief scheme, which was extended in April 2012. The focus of the review is to assess how well the scheme is operating and the specific costs of the expanded scheme.
27 November 2012
Small Business Rate Relief Scheme Welcomed
SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Dominic Bradley has welcomed a statement from Finance Minister Sammy Wilson today regarding the extension of support regarding the Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) Scheme.
26 October 2011
Hamilton Reiterates Support For Small Businesses
Strangford DUP MLA Simon Hamilton has told an audience of business people in Lisburn that the Stormont Assembly must maintain its support for Northern Ireland's small business sector during these difficult times.
06 November 2015
Council Hosts 'Small Business Saturday Bus Tour'
Belfast City Council hosted the 'Small Business Saturday Bus Tour' at City Hall on Thursday, 05 November, which is touring the UK to highlight small business success and encourage people to 'shop local'.