President of Ballymoney Chamber of Commerce welcomes Small Business Rate relief extension

Extension of the threshold for small business rate relief is welcomed by Ballymoney Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber President, Winnifred Mellet, has welcomed the extension by the Assembly of the small business rate relief scheme and also the extension of the threshold to include, from 1st April, properties with net annual valuations of up to £15,000.

Commenting on the effect of this on local businesses the President said: “This eligibility for the new business rate relief scheme introduced last year was based on net annual value (NAV) of each business premise, was of benefit to a number of our small businesses.

“However in practice we found that some of our small businesses fell just outside the threshold and therefore did not benefit.

“The Chamber lobbied MLAs, and business groups to have the thresholds extended.

“I am pleased that the views put forward have been listened to and welcome this extension of the scheme, which will help more businesses.

“ I hope, also, in these challenging economic times, it will make it easier for people to get into business and see the take up of units available to let in our town centre. ”

The aim of the scheme, announced by Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, is to support the growth and sustainability of small businesses in Northern Ireland.

The scheme which had previous two levels of NAV £2,000 or less and £2,000 - £5,000, now has two further categories £5,000 - £10,000 and £10,000 - £15,000..

This, according to the Minister, will add a further 3,500 businesses benefiting from a 20% reduction in their rates.