The Government has made funds available to local authorities to implement this scheme following the Valuation Office Agency's 2017 revaluation of non-domestic properties.
The scheme is intended to help those ratepayers who have lost some or all of their small business rate relief (SBRR) as a result of the increase in their business property's rateable value (RV) and have consequently had large increases in their 2017-18 business rates bills.
The scheme will ensure that the increase per year is limited to the greater of either a percentage increase of 5%, 7.5%, 10%, 15% and 15% per year from 2017-18 to 2021-22 (all plus inflation), or an increase of £600 per year.
In the first year of the scheme, all ratepayers losing some or all of their SBRR will see the maximum increase in their bill of £600. The minimum increase will be £600 per year thereafter.
This means that ratepayers who are currently paying nothing under SBRR and are losing all of their entitlement to relief (that is, their property's RV increased from £6,000 or less to more than £15,000) would eventually pay £3,000 per year after five years under the scheme.
Ratepayers will remain in the relief scheme for either five years or until the annual incremental increase in business rates reaches the amount they would have paid without the scheme.
Any award is dependent on the ratepayer not receiving more than 200,000 Euros in State Aid over a rolling three-year period. You can find out more about State Aid law here.
A change of ratepayers won't affect eligibility for the relief, but eligibility will be lost if the property falls vacant or becomes occupied by a charity or community amateur sports club.
Those in the Supporting Small Businesses Relief Scheme whose 2017 RV is £51,000 or more won't be liable to pay the supplement (1.3p) to fund SBRR while they're in the scheme.