Small businesses in Kingston will get a boost under a new government scheme, it was revealed this week.

Kingston Council (RBK) said yesterday (April 10) that a new retail relief scheme included in the government's Autumn 2018 Budget would provide welcome support for smaller businesses in town.

Explaining the details of the plan, RBK said that businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for a third off their business rates over the next two years.

RBK said: "Companies will have already received their annual bill, which was issued in March 2019.

"You should pay the amount of business rates shown in your March bill, unless you receive a revised bill in April 2019 which will only be issued to those business who qualify for the retail relief."

While the measure is expected to give a helping hand to the finances of some businesses, there are some exceptions.

RBK noted that under the new scheme, medical provision businesses may not apply.

Further, estate agents, letting agents, cinemas, theatres, nightclubs, museums and music venues also cannot apply, while empty properties do not qualify.

Councillor Alison Holt, portfolio member for finance, said:

"Kingston proudly boasts a vast array of small businesses and the council wants to support them as much as possible to ensure they get off the ground. Small businesses are at the heart of the borough’s economy and identity.

"We hope that these relief rates will help them on their way to establishing themselves in the borough. Small businesses, particularly retail, face many challenges in the current economic environment and this relief is very welcome."

Business rates can be paid online, by direct debit, over the phone and using the Kingston Pound.

The council has written to those who may be eligible for rate relief. If you have not received a letter but believe you may qualify, or if you have any questions, you can contact the council via