Businesses find welcome relief in their latest rates bills | Sevenoaks District Council

Businesses find welcome relief in their latest rates bills

Published: Monday, 18th March 2019

Hundreds of independent retailers will benefit from a reduction in their Business Rates from April.

In February, Sevenoaks District Council approved a new ‘Retail Discount Scheme’ offering greater Business Rates discounts for small to medium-sized, independent retailers.

Around 450 local businesses, including shops, post offices, hairdressers, travel agents, restaurants, takeaways, pubs and bars, will see the amount of Business Rates they pay cut by up to one-third.

Eligible businesses will save between £158 and £8,183 a year depending on their size, location and other factors. The total saving across the District is just over £1 million.

Businesses entitled to the discount will see the saving on their 2019/20 Business Rates bill delivered in March.

Cllr John Scholey, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, says: “Our revised Retail Discount Scheme will help hundreds of local retailers by reducing their Business Rates. Eligible businesses don’t need to apply for the discount as we’ve done all the work making sure the savings are applied to their latest Business Rates bill. This discount forms part of our commitment to support and develop the local economy, a priority for this Council.”

Businesses who believe they may be entitled to the discount, but have not seen the reduction on their latest Business Rates bill, should contact the Council on 01732 227000 or email

The Retail Discount Scheme applies to independent businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000. Examples of businesses that will benefit from the discount are listed below:

  • Shops (such as florist, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off-licence, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores and small supermarkets)
  • Charity shops
  • Opticians
  • Post Offices
  • Furnishing shops/display rooms (such as carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
  • Car/caravan show rooms
  • Second hand car lots
  • Markets
  • Petrol stations
  • Garden centres
  • Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)
  • Hair and beauty services (such as hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons and tanning shops)
  • Shoe repairs/key cutting
  • Travel agents
  • Ticket offices e.g. for theatre tickets
  • Dry cleaners
  • Launderettes
  • PC/TV domestic appliance repair
  • Funeral directors
  • Photo processing
  • DVD/video rentals
  • Tool hire
  • Car hire
  • Restaurants
  • Takeaways
  • Sandwich shops
  • Coffee shops
  • Pubs
  • Bars

Businesses that already receive 100% Small Business Rate Relief are not eligible for the Retail Discount Scheme.

Whilst no application form is required, the discount is subject to State Aid limits. The Council will be contacting all ratepayers to whom it has given the discount to ensure they are aware of their responsibility to declare any other State Aid that might take them over the limit. More information on State Aid can be found on