Ahead of Small Business Saturday (1st December), South Wales Central AM, Andrew RT Davies, has called on the Welsh Labour Government to increase support for small businesses across the region.
In Wales, the Labour Government only currently provides non-domestic rates relief to eligible small businesses. For those premises with a rateable value of up to £6,000, firms receive 100% relief; and those with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000 receive relief on a tapered basis from 100% to zero.
However, this support lags behind what is offered in England, and in the recent UK Conservative Government budget, the Chancellor also announced a £900m to cut business rates in England by one third for two years. This is for retailers with rateable value of under £51,000, saving up to 90 per cent of all shops in England up to £8,000 each year, and builds on previous reductions worth more than £12.5 billion.
Andrew RT Davies AM has called on the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mark Drakeford AM, to ensure the consequential funding which is received under the Barnett Formula is invested wisely to support Welsh firms.
“Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to champion the key role played by small firms, and we need to see the Welsh Labour Government use this consequential funding wisely to increase support to businesses.
“We’ve long called for business rates to be scrapped for small businesses, but as the Conservatives deliver increased support for shops and firms in England, the lifeblood of our economy in Wales is being held back thanks to the inertia of the Labour administration in Cardiff Bay.
“Small Business Saturday should be about celebration, and I’m sure people across South Wales will be out and about this weekend doing their bit to support our high streets.
“However, the current business rates structure in Wales is preventing many firms from reaching their full potential and that’s clearly unacceptable. Before moving on to pastures new, Labour’s Finance Secretary should take note of this deficit in support, and ensure Welsh businesses have the assistance they both deserve and require.”