NORTH Devon Council is promoting two schemes to help new and small local businesses with their finances. To help smaller businesses there is small business rate relief and for new businesses there is start up, top up" rate relief. Small business rate rel

NORTH Devon Council is promoting two schemes to help new and small local businesses with their finances.To help smaller businesses there is small business rate relief and for new businesses there is "start up, top up" rate relief.Small business rate relief is a government scheme that can award 50 per cent rate relief to small businesses. Start up, Top up is a two year scheme providing further help to new businesses during the first years of trading, offering 50 per cent relief in year one and 25 per cent in year two.It was designed to complement the government scheme meaning together the two schemes could allow a new business to benefit from 100, 75 and 50 per cent relief over its first three years. "The council recognises that the first three years for a new business are crucial," said Laura Conway, Economic Development Assistant at the council."We hope that the scheme will help anyone who is looking to start a new enterprise but is worried by all the set up costs."Revenues manager Laurence O'Shea added: "Hundreds of small business in North Devon could be missing out on rate relief simply because they haven't applied for it. "Many may not be claiming the small business rate relief they are entitled to, which could give them 50 per cent off their annual rates bill. "In the current economic climate it is essential small business owners, running a sole business, contact us to see if they qualify."The Start up, Top up scheme is available to businesses within their first two years of trading and receiving small business rate relief. Eligible businesses must be able to show potential for growth and be innovative in their market.To find out more about business rate relief contact the Revenues team by telephone (01271) 388361 or email businessrates@northdevon.gov.uk. For information about Start up, Top up call Laura Conway on (01271) 388216 or email laura.conway@northdevon.gov.uk. Information about both schemes is also available at www.northdevon.gov.uk.