Report by Head of Customer Focus (attached).
The Committee considered a report by the Head of Customer Focus (circulated previously) regarding Discretionary Business Rates Relief and Covid 19 Additional Relief Fund.
The Director Resources highlighted the following:
· On 25 March 2021, the Government announced plans to provide an additional business rates support package, worth £1.5 billion, to support businesses in England affected by COVID-19 but not eligible for existing support linked to business rates.
· North Devon Council had been awarded £1,812,522 from the £1.5 billion funding.
· The Council was required to determine its own scheme for the administration of Covid 19 Additional Relief Fund and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities had stated that, in order for the Council to receive the allocated funding it must adhere to certain criteria as outlined in paragraph 4.1 of the report. The policy for the granting of this funding was detailed in Appendix C to this report.
· Modelling showed that the Council would be left with around 10% of our allocated budget to be used as a contingency fund to help those businesses, on a case by case basis, who can demonstrate that they have been adversely affect by COVID-19 despite being in the list of excluded businesses in Appendix D.
· For those businesses who had paid their business rates for 2021/22, a credit would be rolled forward to 2022/23 year. Those businesses that had already paid their business rates for 2022/22 would be entitled to a rebate.
RESOLVED that the policy for the granting of COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund be adopted.