A RATE relief scheme which is expected to help more than 500 Pembrokeshire businesses, to the tune of a potential £1.3m, has been backed by the council’s Cabinet.

At the April 8 meeting of the Cabinet, members heard the Welsh Government has recently announced it will be extending the High Street Rate Relief Scheme for 2019-20 to provide targeted support for businesses affected by the independent revaluation and by the growth of internet sites.

The rate relief will be funded in totality by Welsh Government and the council estimates that grant aid will be made available to 534 businesses.

Unlike previous years, the 2019-20 scheme is not limited to high street premises.

Properties that will benefit from this relief will be occupied high street businesses and retail properties such as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments, with a rateable value of £50,000 or less on April 1, 2019.

It is expected that eligible ratepayers will be retailers whose property has a rateable value of between £6,001 and £50,000 on April 1, 2019.

Those with a rateable value of £6,000 and below will receive Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR).

The level of support will be up to £2,500 towards non-domestic rates bills for retail properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less on the April 1, 2019 subject to state aid limits.

The council will identify eligible ratepayers and invite applications.

Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture Paul Miller welcomed the scheme, saying: “This isn’t a magic bullet but this a welcome relief,” adding it would make a “significant difference for some businesses.”