Allister welcomes victory in Small Business Relief case

Jim Allister

NORTH Antrim MLA Jim Allister has welcomed victory in a Small Business Relief case.

In a statement Mr Allister, who is also leader of the TUV, said: “I very much welcome the responsiveness of Land & Property Services when I raised with them an inequity relating to a local business.

“The owners of a group of holiday cottages were denied the Covid-19 support grant of £10,000 because, though their collective rates were under the Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) threshold of £15,000, there were more than 4 properties in the group.

“The eligibility rules of £10,000 grant scheme as determined by the Department for Economy (DfE) are the following;
➢ The non-domestic property has an NAV under £15,000
➢ The property was occupied at 15th March 2020
➢ The property was in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR)

“ SBRR is not available to ratepayers who have 4 or more properties that would otherwise qualify for the relief on the basis of their NAV.

“However, as I pointed out to LPS, there is a provision within SBRR legislation that allows for contiguous properties occupied by the same ratepayer and with a combined NAV of £15,000 or less to be treated as one property for SBRR purposes. The key is that they are adjoining and owned and operated as an entity by the same ratepayer.

“Thus, this business will now get the £10,000 grant and qualify on a backdated basis to the Small Business Rates Relief.

“Since I often find departments reluctant to admit mistakes, the prompt and willing acknowledgement by LPS that the rules had been wrongly applied was refreshing and commendable.”

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