Can I get rate relief on two stores fairly near each other?

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An anonymous retailer rang to ask whether his second business would qualify for rate relief. Store number one qualifies. When he contacted me he only had a temporary lease for the second store and wasn’t open for business yet.

Both businesses are partnerships in his and his wife’s name and I can already hear some of you going tch-tch. He considered putting the new outlet in another family member’s name, but then decided against in case of tax implications. Better to keep it all above board.

Anyway, he rang the council to ask and they sent him a form to fill in so didn’t say it couldn’t qualify.

The second store had been opened a week when I contacted him. The upshot was that the second store was valued at £3,950, which means it wouldn’t qualify (it would have had to be under £3K).

The fact that this store had been closed for one-and-a-half years, was in a poor state and only serves a very local community didn’t count.

The two businesses are very different from a customer demographic point of view, and in logistics and ambience. “It’s made me realise how good my current business is,” he says.

But he thinks it has potential and realises he has to give it a few months. Let’s wish him luck.

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