SHOPS and businesses in West Oxfordshire will get more than £1million in Business Rate Relief over the next two years, it has been announced.

West Oxfordshire District Council’s Cabinet yesterday (Wednesday) agreed to implement the Government scheme to provide up to £1,000 of annual rate relief during 2014-15 and 2015-16 to businesses occupying retail properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less.

There are 760 retailers from shops to cafés, pubs and restaurants, that could qualifying for the relief.

The council will be writing to eligible retail premises over the next few weeks inviting them to take up the rate relief offer.

Councillor Simon Hoare, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “The national rate relief scheme is welcome news for retailers and will support many of the small and independent businesses that are at the heart of our local towns and communities.

“West Oxfordshire has, fortunately, fared well during the recent recession and we continue to have very few empty retail units.

"It is thanks to their own hard work and determination that local retailers have got through the recent tough times and we hope this scheme will give their business a boost, freeing up some funds to help them realise new opportunities, as the economy starts to pick up.”

For details about business rates and business support provided by the council, visit or call 01993 861000.