Businesses with a rateable value of £12,000 or less in most rural local authority districts will be eligible for a reduction of up to £1 290 for a three month period providing they can demonstrate that they have suffered serious economic loss through the impact of FMD.
Not all local authorities will join this scheme so its worth checking to see if your is being proactive on your behalf.
The scheme, where adopted, will allow impacts beyond three months to be kept under review. In addition businesses in rural areas considering appeals against their business rate valuation whether because of FMD or the 2000 revaluation will have an additional period of three months from 31 March in which to lodge their appeal.
For businesses seeking additional support, its worth registering your plight with your local BusinessLink office. Basic information on what the governments Small Business Service can offer can be found at www.businessadviceonline.org.
The Rural Business Helpline is 0845 600 9 006 (8am till 8pm Mon-Sat). The Tax Helpline mentioned on this site last week (http://www.bikebiz.co.uk/.../article.php3?id=1271) is 0845 300 0157 (8am till midnight seven days a week).
In Scotland, the Scottish Executive has made £5m available to ensure advice and support is available to affected businesses and individuals laid off as a result of FMD.