Over £670,000 worth of funding could be available to businesses across the Harrogate District which have suffered at the hands of the recent rates revaluation.
Small independent firms around the country lashed out at the recent revaluation of business rates as hitting them the hardest as a result of increased property prices.
However, after the Government announced it would release £300 million in relief funding for those affected, Harrogate Borough Council is said to expect £677,000 to help businesses across the district.
Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones, said: “It is right that the Government should work with local councils to help those who have lost out in the revaluation.
“That is why the Chancellor announced in his recent Budget a support package of £300 million. The details of that package are subject to a Department for Communities and Local Government consultation on how it should be shared out but it is already clear that local Councils – as the bodies who collect business rates – will be responsible for administering the package.
“The initial suggestion is that Harrogate Borough Council will get £677,000 over four years – the greater proportion of which will be front-loaded into years one and two.
“Harrogate Council will decide how it is to be distributed but it can only be distributed to businesses whose rates have increased due to the revaluation.”
Mr Jones noted that average business rates fell by 4.3 per cent across the district after the revaluation but accepted that this was an average and some will have increased.
For one such Harrogate business, the announcement has come as welcome news.
Long-standing family firms, Stothard’s Pet Store and Posh Paws, were looking at an increased outgoing of nearly £3,000 across both businesses per annum, as a result of the rates hike.
Michaela Stothard, owner of Posh Paws on Leeds Road, said: “We feel like we are hitting the tide and the tide is constantly trying to drown us.
“Christmas wasn’t great as it was because of the online competition but because we have had so many price increases since January and then the business rates went up - to have some relief would just be amazing.
“The business is everything, we have put our heart and soul into it.”
Businesses will have to wait for the DCLG consultation to end on April 7 to find out more about how they can benefit from the funding.