Wandsworth to give retailer handout

Wandsworth Council is set to give retailers in the borough help with their business rates.

Councillors are to discuss proposals to give shops, pubs and restaurants up to £1000 in business rates relief.

The scheme would run in the coming financial year and in 2015/16.  Around 3,000 business could benefit and a total of £1.5m could be handed out in the first year.

Businesses that could qualify for the scheme, set to come in from April, include shops, restaurants, cafes, takeaways, pubs and bars, post offices, charity shops, hairdressers and beauty salons, dry cleaners and other high street stores, food outlets and services.

To be eligible, they would need a rateable value of £50,000 or less.

The council’s finance spokesman Guy Senior said: “We are keen to do what we can to help our shops and restaurants because they are the lifeblood of our high streets. Our town centres have weathered the recession relatively well, but we know times have been difficult for traders – especially with the challenge from online retailers.”

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