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Almost half of all eligible businesses in Bridgend County Borough have responded to a council letter advising them that they may benefit from business rate relief.

Since letters were sent to 706 eligible ratepayers last month, the council has received 373 responses and to date, 340 of them have been awarded the new High Street Rate relief.

Three types of rate relief, funded by Welsh Government, are available to support local businesses in Bridgend County Borough.

Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) covers eligible properties with a rateable value of less than £6,000, with premises such as post offices or registered child care facilities also eligible for extra relief.

Transitional Relief supports businesses that were affected by a revaluation of business rates in 2017, and High Street and Retail Rates Relief (HSRRR) is aimed at Welsh high street businesses and retailers such as shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes.

With any outstanding applications on the new HSRRR scheme set to be processed by the end of June, follow-up letters and application forms will be sent to any eligible business that has yet to respond.

The Deputy Leader, Cllr Hywel Williams said: "This year sees the introduction of a new improved rate relief scheme that provides up to £2,500 to eligible businesses, which is a great help. The new scheme also covers situations where the occupier of a premises moves out and a new one moves in. When a new occupier takes on an eligible property, they will automatically receive an application form for rate relief which will enable the council to direct help towards new businesses."

"In order to ensure that the information we hold on eligible premises is correct and up to date, Bridgend County Borough Council processes and awards the new business rate relief on an application basis."

"As well as sending out letters, application forms are also available at the council website to make it easier for businesses to apply for the relief. I hope that all eligible businesses who have yet to return their applications take full advantage of the scheme."

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