More than 650 small retail businesses are set to benefit from discounts in their rates demands for the next two financial years across Hertsmere.

The government announced in their autumn statement that it would provide rateable relief of up to £1,000 to all occupied retail properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less, with the government agreeing to reimburse local authorities for this relief.

A number of smaller shops will notice the discounts in rate demands for 2014/15 that they are currently receiving from the council following this announcement. 

In a written statement, Donald Graham, chief executive at Hertsmere Borough Council, said: "Although the borough has a relatively strong economy, our high streets have of course suffered from the economic downturn. The retail sector is constantly changing and facing new challenges so I am sure the discounts to business rates will be very widely welcomed.

"There is enormous potential for Hertsmere to grow further as a business hub, so in the coming months we will be consulting on our Creative Hertsmere Economic Development Strategy, a fresh perspective on ensuring we have a thriving, vibrant and prosperous future."