Croydon to receive £1.1m share of Mayor of London's £23m recovery fund
2:00pm Friday 28th September 2012 in News
The launch of a £1.1m business rates grant scheme could see up to 2,000 new jobs created in central Croydon.
The reduced business rates could also help cut the number of empty shops and offices in the area by up to 10 percent over three years.
New and expanding businesses in the town centre are being encouraged to apply and see if they are eligible for a share of the business rate grant scheme.
Croydon Council introduced the initiative as part of the Mayor of London's £23m recovery fund, the scheme will allow firms to offset one of the big fixed costs that come with running an office or shop.
The grant is expected to be a major incentive for new businesses to set up in Croydon or for existing companies to increase in size.
It will also help firms who move into properties that are not covered by the Government's small business rate relief scheme, which only applies to properties with a rateable value of less than £25,000.
The new grant applies to properties that exceed the £25,500 threshold, which would apply to a building occupying about 200sq m.
It will cover 65 percent of the rates bill in the first year, falling to 20 percent in year three.
This means a typical business with a rateable value of £40,000 could receive a subsidy of £21,000 between October 2012 and March 2015.
Businesses that apply for the grant will have to show they will be employing more people as a result of taking on new premises.
On average it is expected most applicants would be expected to take on around 15 to 20 new staff.
Companies with less than 250 staff members and a turnover of less than £40 million a year are eligible to apply.
The scheme aims to create or maintain 1,311 jobs, based on 69 companies leasing premises at average of 19 employees. It also aims to support 839 indirect jobs and reduce empty office stock in Croydon town centre by nine percent.
Cllr Vidhi Mohan, cabinet member for communities and economic development said: "Central Croydon has been identified as an opportunity area by the mayor because of its fantastic potential for economic growth.
"A concentration of businesses in the town centre area will help to make the most of Croydon's enormous potential for growth and so it will benefit residents of the borough as a whole.
"This business rate grant will help the council to encourage small and medium enterprises to move into the town centre, where there is available office space.
"The savings made by each business will mean cash can be put back into growth and job creation in Croydon."