The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed the Welsh Government’s announcement that the Small Business Rate Relief scheme will be extended for 2017-18 and made permanent in 2018.

Businesses with a rateable value of up to £6,000 will continue to receive 100% relief, while those with a rateable value of between £6,000 and £12,000 will receive tapered relief from 100% to 0%.

The Welsh Government claim that 70% of small businesses in Wales are eligible for relief, with around half of those eligible paying no rates at all.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Small business rate relief is an important scheme to allow local shops and other businesses to invest in their long-term future. We welcome the extension of the rate relief scheme in Wales, and will continue discussions with officials in Wales about the details of the permanent scheme to be introduced from 2018.”

The draft rating list for England and Wales is due to be published at the end of September, which will publish the draft rateable values for business properties. The last revaluation took place in 2010.

Under plans announced by former Chancellor George Osborne last year, local authorities are set to retain 100% of business rates income, with directly elected metro mayors able to add a supplement to rates in an area to fund infrastructure projects. ACS has raised concerns that local authorities are not using the powers they already have to reduce business rates effectively on high streets.

ACS is currently consulting with members on its submission to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s consultation on local rates retention, which is due on September 26.