Following calls from FSB Wales, Welsh Government has committed to new funding for business rates relief ahead of Small Business Saturday on 1st December.
FSB Wales wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance following the UK Government budget, in which it was confirmed that £26 million would flow to Welsh Government following the Chancellor’s announcement of business rates relief for the UK. FSB urged Welsh Government to use this sum to provide further business rates relief in Wales.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mark Drakeford, gave evidence to the Finance Committee of the National Assembly for Wales last week, during which he confirmed that the £26 million sum will be used for additional business rates relief in 2019.
The Cabinet Secretary has not yet stated how this funding will be applied, given that there is a different scheme of rates relief in Wales than there is in England, and confirmed that he will come forwards soon with proposals for how this funding will be used.
Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair, said:
“We’re thrilled that Welsh Government has listened to calls from FSB Wales and will use the £26 million on further business rates relief support for businesses across Wales.
“In our recent work on the Future of Welsh Towns, businesses told us that business rates were one of the top issues detracting from town centre performance. Business rates are an important part of the wider conversation about how we ensure that the future of our towns is sustainable and dynamic, which makes it all the more important that the Cabinet Secretary has taken this positive decision which we applaud.
“With Small Business Saturday just a few days away, the timing for this news is even more significant as we gear up to celebrate the businesses that make such a huge contribution to our economy and our local communities across Wales. As part of recognising this contribution and to mark Small Business Saturday, we’re urging as many people as possible to take the #10PoundPledge – to spend at least £10 with a small business this weekend in order to support the businesses that are such an important part of the Welsh economy.”