Waltham Forest Council slashes business rates by 100% for start-ups
Believed to be the first initiative of its kind in London, open workspaces in Waltham Forest will be able to pay nothing in business rates to help small business, creatives and entrepreneurs thrive in Waltham Forest.
Waltham Forest’s Cabinet approved a new category of rate relief targeted at open workspaces which include co-working, incubators and accelerators, as well as workshops and studios with shared common facilities.
Flexible workspaces for small businesses and start-ups, particularly those in the creative industries, are set to be exempt from paying business rates for the first 12 months and pay much lower rates for a further four years.
The introduction of this rate relief means more affordable space and makes it much easier for local entrepreneurs, as the workspace operators can pass on the savings to businesses in the form of reduced rent. This is good news for businesses but also local employment which is already at an all-time high at 81 per cent. Nearly 2,500 businesses were created in the borough last year and the fastest growing sector was the digital and creative sector.
Available from this financial year, the proposed offer would start with 100 per cent relief in year one, then reduce by 15 per cent, per year until reaching 40 per cent in year five; after which full business rates will be payable.
Councillor Simon Miller, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and High Streets says “Waltham Forest is the sixth fastest business growth borough in London with small businesses and start-ups making up 98 per cent of our business base.
“The creative industries are thriving and we want that to continue so the affordability and flexibility of co-working spaces, like the award winning Central Parade and the brand new Switchboard Studios, provide the perfect environment for small businesses to start and prosper.”
Local business owner, Caroline Johnston of The Everyspace, an incubator in Central Parade says: “This is great news for small businesses such as myself. This will have a huge positive impact on local people taking the plunge as a start-up. It’s great that the Council has been innovative in helping local businesses in Waltham Forest.”