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Business owners are urged to check whether or not they could reduce the amount they pay after new business rate relief rules came into effect on 1 April this year.

Under the new regulations, retail properties could be awarded a discretionary discount if it has a rateable value of less than £51,000 per year.

The total amount of discount available is one third of the full business rate amount, which could mean the businesses could be due a relief of around £8,000 per year.

The discount has been automatically applied to the majority of eligible properties, however new occupiers or businesses in new properties should apply for the discount through the City Council.

Businesses should check their current business rates bill to see whether the discount has already been added.

Business rates are set nationally by the Government, but responsibility for collecting business rates sits with local Councils.

Already, the Retail Discount has been awarded to 2,090 businesses in Manchester, saving owners a total of £6.42m in rates.

A local convenience store in Ardwick has recently successfully applied for relief and received a rebate of £1,750 – reducing their rate bill by 33%.

Find out if your business is eligible

Cllr Carl Ollerhead, Manchester City Council’s executive member for finance and human resources, said: “We know that the high street is struggling and this relief could make all the difference to many businesses across this city where margins are often tight.

“I would seriously urge business owners in retail properties to get in touch to see whether or not they can apply for the discount – and they might actually already be entitled to a rebate.”