700 small businesses are urging the government to make business rate relief automatic, following estimates that more than half of small companies miss out on reclaiming up to £1,200.
The campaign is led by the Federation of Small Business (FSB), which believes that up to £400m remains unclaimed each year - simply because firms don’t realise they can claim the money back.
Business rates apply to companies that have premises that cost a certain annual rent per year (find out more about business rates here). But companies who pay less than £15,000 pa, or £21,500 in Greater London, can claim back up to half of their business rates.
The FSB chairman John Wright pointed out that 120 small businesses are folding every day, and that “it is crucial that more is done to sustain their cash flow. Introducing automatic rate relief will help free up vital cash.”
The FSB is pushing for a new Small Business Rate Relief (Automatic Payment) Bill to get its hopes realised. Currently, the proposal is being helped by and is backed by Peter Luff, Conservative MP for Mid Worcestershire and Chairman of the Business and Enterprise committee.
But it requires the support of more than 100 MPs to reach the next stage in the parliamentary process.
To help convince your local MP to support the scheme and help small business, click on the link to the letter template on the page of the FSB’s website that concerns the automatic rate relief campaign, and write to your local MP urging them to support the scheme.