The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed an announcement from the Welsh Government which has confirmed an extension to the High Streets and Retail Rate Relief scheme for 2020-21.

As part of the scheme, retail properties with a rateable value up to £9,100 will have a rates bill of zero and properties with a rateable value of up to £50,000 can receive up to £2,500 off their business rates bill.

ACS is part of the Cross Party Group on Small Shops who highlighted the need to use the business rates system to incentivise investment in the Supporting Entrepreneurship Inquiry.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “This is a welcome announcement for convenience stores and other retail businesses across Wales. Extension of this scheme will help enable retailers to invest in their stores and continue providing essential products and services to their local communities. It is imperative that the Welsh Government continues to support these businesses which are a lifeline to the communities that they serve.”

The Welsh Government also announced that funding for discretionary relief by local authorities will increase by £2.4m.

Figures from the ACS 2020 Welsh Local Shop Report show that there are 2,931 convenience stores in Wales, 84% of which are independently owned.