New business rates plan will help to support Bridgend Post Offices
A campaign I have been leading to secure the future of Post Offices in the area has received a boost following an announcement that the business rate relief system will be reformed to help more small businesses across Wales.
The new scheme, wholly financed by the Labour Welsh Assembly Government, will increase the number of eligible businesses in Bridgend able to benefit from 150 to 1,400. Special measures have also been put in place to assist local Post Offices that play a central role in keeping many communities sustainable.
Small businesses are the backbone of the Bridgend economy. The new proposals will provide a more effective way of distributing rate relief and targets the help where it is really needed.
The scheme will provide rate relief for businesses with a rateable value below £4,000. Post Offices will enjoy enhanced rate relief under the new scheme. Those with a rateable value under £9,000 will receive 100% relief, and those with a rateable value between £9,000 and £11,999 will receive 50% relief. In addition to the small business rate relief scheme, many other types of relief will remain available and not be affected by the new scheme. These include charitable occupations, community amateur sports clubs, and non- profit making organisations.
It will be particularly welcome news for our post offices. They play a vital role in community life and offer an invaluable service for elderly and vulnerable residents. This boost is a clear signal from the Welsh Assembly Government that it is fully committed to helping keep post offices open across the area.
I will be meeting with local sub-postmasters this Friday to formulate an action plan to maintain and develop the post office network in Bridgend. This scheme will, I am sure, form an important part of our discussions.