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Apply for Hardship Relief

For small businesses wishing to apply for Business Rate Hardship Relief

The Council is prepared to consider an application for relief of rates under Section 49 of the Local Government Act 1988. Each application should be made in writing and will be considered on its own merits. An explanation and advice on how to apply is set out below.

1) The Council can only remit the rates of a business if it is satisfied:

a) Hardship would result if it did not do so, and

b) It is in the interests of the taxpayers of the Council

2) The onus lies with the ratepayer to demonstrate why relief should be granted and the hardship that would otherwise be suffered. Hardship is not defined, and the test of hardship need not be confined solely to financial hardship but could include all relevant factors affecting the ability of a business to meet its liabilities for rates.

3) Ideally, the relief would provide short-term relief to the business suffering acute short term financial difficulties.

4) Ratepayers should prepare a plan (a ‘business plan’) showing how present trading difficulties are to be overcome. What the effect on the local community would be if your business were to close.

5) If you can demonstrate evidence of local support and demand for the amenity, together with an indication of the catchment area covered, this should be submitted.

6) Financial details i.e. two financial years Balance Sheets and Profit and Loss Accounts, preferably audited, together with details of the current years trading to date, must accompany your application.