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The Government’s 2011 Budget announced proposals for Enterprise Zones (EZ) to promote business growth; the Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) designated an EZ in Birmingham City Centre in April 2011. The EZ reflects clusters of sites which provide growth opportunities, and is structured to both promote the development of strategic sites and support smaller businesses.
Within the EZ, businesses will be granted a rates discount of up to 100% for a maximum of five years. This will be administered by the local authority then reimbursed by central Government, meaning there will be no direct cost for Birmingham City Council. This will offer a significant saving for many small businesses.
Discounts are limited by EU state aid law, up to a de minimis threshold; the equivalent of approximately £55,000 per year or £275,000 over 5 years. The local authority is required to ensure that businesses do not receive greater levels of support. Each business will receive discounts for five years from the start of its occupancy in the Zone, providing it enters the Zone by April 2015.
Bills for 2012 should be adjusted to reflect this discount. However, if you require further information either in respect of a possible reduction in the amount of Business Rates payable or other benefits of your business being located in the Enterprise Zone, then please contact the Enterprise Zone Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.birmingham.gov.uk/ez