Posted on Thursday 11 August 2016 by Ulster Business

Retail rate reduction scheme relaunched

Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir is pictured launching the rebranded Back in Business rate support scheme with Jane Hodgers, Manager General Merchants Cafe, Ormeau Road Belfast. 

The Finance Minister has re-launched a rate reduction scheme aimed at getting empty retail properties filled.

The Back in Business rate support scheme gives business owners which occupy a retail property which was previously empty for 12 months or more a 50% rate reduction.

Since launching in 2012 under its previous guise - the Small Business Rates Relief Scheme - nearly 500 businesses have been able to take advantage of the rate cut.

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir launched the rebranded scheme at General Merchants cafe on the Ormeau Road in Belfast this week.

 “We all want to see our town centres and shopping areas thriving. This excellent rate support scheme aims to bring vibrancy, footfall and investment back to our high streets while providing businesses with a boost in their first year of trading.”

General Merchants Cafe opened in June 2015 in Ballyhackamore and due to its success, a second cafe was opened on the Ormeau Road in April 2016.

Manager Jane Hodgers said the Back in Business scheme was a big help.

“General Merchants is a tremendous example of the benefits of this scheme. The difference that a bustling business can make to a once empty property on a main thoroughfare is striking. I would urge anyone planning to start a business or expand an existing business to consider setting up in an empty unit and avail of the support on offer from Back in Business.”   

Further information on the Back in Business rate support scheme including an application form to apply can be found at: www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/backinbusiness

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