Financial backing for hard-hit businesses

Businesses which are suffering financial hardship due to the recession are now being offered a chance to apply for business rates relief.

Winchester City Council is allocating funding to this scheme as part of its support package for businesses during the recession.  Business Link Hampshire and Isle of Wight are also working with the City Council to help local business people seek assistance during tough times.

The funding is available until March 2010.  Business can apply in July 2009, October 2009 or January 2010. The Council’s local taxes team will assess the eligibility of each applicant.  If successful, the applicant will be contacted by a Business Link adviser who will help applicants to undertake a business review and develop a business action plan.  The result of this process will help to inform the final decision panel.

Cllr George Beckett, Leader of Winchester City Council, said: “We want to support those businesses which are struggling to pay their rates bill due to the recession.  We want to help keep our local enterprises going until the worst of the credit crunch is over, so we are ready to return to growth.  Providing relief for extreme cases of hardship is just one of many measures we are taking to support our business community.”

Deborah Wyatt, Director of Business Link, added: “We are delighted to be able to support Winchester City Council with this project.  Business Link will be helping applicants take stock of their current situation, plan for the future, and provide Winchester based businesses with free impartial advice and guidance.”

To apply or for the full criteria list, contact Winchester City Council’s local taxes team, on 01962 848 288