Croydon Council is set to boost local companies with money off their business rates and a new commission exploring how to make the borough’s small and large firms more successful.
Local businesses could save thousands on their business rates in the borough – with up to 100 percent discount available in some cases – under plans due to be considered by the council’s cabinet this evening (Monday). Applications for rates relief will be considered on a case-by-case basis and the council will decide the period of relief awarded to each applicant.
The council has also set up a Small Business Commission to explore the barriers to, and opportunities for, growth for Croydon Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Made up of representatives from local SMEs and business groups, the commission will use workshops, a survey and individual visits to ask hundreds of large and small companies across the borough for their feedback on what helps and hinders their economic growth.
The business rate relief scheme aims to further promote business growth in Croydon by supporting inward investment from large and smaller companies looking to move to the borough, which also support the local economy by bringing empty commercial space back into use.
As a condition of obtaining rates relief under the scheme, businesses will be required to work towards Croydon Good Employer Charter accreditation – which aims to boost Croydon’s economy by supporting the local supply chain. The charter requires signatories to support the local economy by buying local and investing in local businesses and to being an inclusive employer by promoting equality and diversity in the workplace and implementing best practice for employee support.
The commission’s research will result in a report detailing recommendations for action, which will be published by next summer.
Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for economy and jobs
“More and more organisations are realising the benefits of setting up their business in Croydon and we are committed to seeing them grow and succeed to create a stronger economy and more jobs.
“The incentive of relief on business rates is yet another reason for businesses to choose Croydon as their base, together with the excellent transport links and the continued investment in the borough.
“In addition to offering up to 100 percent rate relief, this council is underlining its commitment to supporting local SMEs by setting up the new Small Business Commission to explore how to make Croydon an even better place to work.”
Andrew Bauer, chairman of the new Small Business Commission, said: “I’m very pleased that the council has created this commission, which will pool the experiences of small independent retailers across the borough so we can identify in detail what the Croydon economy does well and what it can do better as we move into a period of significant regeneration and business opportunity. I look forward to getting started.”