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LEEDing the way

14 October, 2022

It’s a tough time to be a small business. The culmination of rising energy prices, inflation and labour shortages make for a lethal cocktail of operating conditions.  

It’s clear that businesses need more support if they are going to survive, and if support can be targeted towards companies that make positive contributions to society, then all the better.  

On October 1st, Leeds Council launched a new business rate relief scheme to support inclusive economic growth in Leeds. The support will be targeted at social enterprises, businesses that are in their first three years of trading, and businesses which have a social or civic purpose that deliver wider benefits to local people and communities. 

Successful applicants will receive up to £15,000 off their annual business rate bills, which it is hoped, will give recipients more scope for investing in innovation, research and development or ease growing pressure on operating costs. 

This is an exciting take on how tax relief and economic incentives can be used to drive positive change in communities, an approach that we hope other councils take note of and build on. But importantly, we hope this leads to calls for government-level economic incentives for companies with purpose, and economic penalties for those who do not.  

If you’re a Leeds-based business and this sounds relevant to you, you can apply for the discretionary business rate relief scheme here. 

By Budd Nicholson

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