The Government has made £300 million available nationally over four years, from 2017/18, to support those businesses that face the steepest increases in their business rates bills as a result of the recent revaluation of all non-domestic properties.

Craven’s share of the £300 million is £166,000 in 2017/18, £81,000 in 2018/19, £33,000 in 2019/20 and £5,000 in 2020/21.

The Government intends councils to use their existing discretionary powers to award this relief which should be used to support smaller ratepayers who are facing the largest increases in their bills following the 2017 revaluation and those also considered the most hard pressed.

Craven District Council’s proposed discretionary relief scheme will assist approximately 240 businesses in the district. We now welcome opinion on the proposed scheme from both businesses and the general public. The full proposed scheme can be viewed here:

* 1. Do you think it is right to help small and medium sized businesses with a rateable value of up to £100,000?

* 2. Do you think it is right to set a maximum limit for assistance of £1,000?

* 3. Do you think it is right to give assistance to those who have seen an increase of more than £150 in their rate liability based on the revaluation?

* 4. Do you think it is right that businesses should only be eligible for one form of relief?

* 5. Do you think it's right for the council to support charities run entirely by volunteers in the Craven area, by topping up their relief so they don't pay any business rates?

* 6. Do you think it is right to hold a discretionary pot of funding in reserve for any other businesses who may be adversely affected?

* 7. If you have any other comments or suggestions to improve the scheme, please let us know in the comment box below.