Almost half of SMEs unaware of small business rate relief

According to the latest Owner Managed Business (OMB) Barometer from Bank of Cyprus UK, 45% of OMBs are unaware of small business rate relief and are missing out on the savings it could represent for their business.

To help small business manage their costs, the government introduced a policy to double rate relief for small businesses. Up until 31 March 2016, non-domestic properties with a rateable value of between £6,000 and £12,000 are eligible for tapered relief of up to 100%. Properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less are exempt altogether.

Despite this assistance being available from government, only 55% of the OMBs surveyed were aware of the benefit, although one in five had a rateable value on their property too high to qualify for rate relief.

While many OMBs are unaware of small business rate relief, over a third of respondents believed the government should make it a priority to double rate relief for small businesses permanently.

Commenting on the research findings, Tony Leahy of Bank of Cyprus UK said, “It’s welcome news that the government is supporting small businesses in this way, but what’s clear is that too few OMBs are aware and taking advantage of the doubling of small business rate relief.”

“This research shows that businesses that are aware of it greatly value the support and would like to see such tax relief made permanent.  However, the key message is that more has to be done to make small businesses aware of this, and other initiatives, so that they can more easily access the significant financial benefits they offer.”

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