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Company insolvency rates among fledgling retailers in Manchester could be reduced in future, thanks to a new initiative offering business rate relief to new companies that move into premises that have stood empty for 12 months or more.

The scheme is offering up to a 50% discount on business rates, in an attempt to entice businesses into premises in areas that have become subject to long-term poor occupancy.

However, in order to qualify, businesses must be deemed to be beneficial to the surrounding community – meaning pawn brokers, betting shops and payday loan providers cannot gain the rate relief.

Councillor Jeff Smith, executive member for finance at Manchester City Council, said: “This will provide an excellent boost for people setting up new businesses or planning on doing so, while it will also encourage companies to move into properties which have been sitting empty for more than a year.”

The lower business rates could also prove to be a crucial deciding factor in helping new retailers and other fledgling businesses to avoid company insolvency, by managing their outgoing costs in the first months of operation.