Cobh Town council is set to be the first town council in the country to introduce a scheme to encourage new buissness start ups by incorperating the new buisness start up grant scheme in the 2013 budget. Cllr John Mulvihill jnr who has driven the scheme through the town council has welcomed the support it has received from fellow members and staff at Cobh Town Council. The scheme will work as follows Cobh Town Council Business Start-Up Scheme, 2013 Cobh Town Council intends to make a Scheme toencourage the development of new businesses within the functional area of Cobh Town Council. 1. This Scheme shall be cited as the CobhBusiness Start-Up Scheme, 2013. 2. In this Scheme, except where the context otherwise requires, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings respectively: – a. “Council” means Cobh Town Council. b. “functional area” means the town of Cobh. c. “new Qualifying Business” means a retail business or a restaurant business which: (i)has not been open for trade in the functional area within the period of 2 years prior to the commencement of trade in the Qualifying Premises and (ii)is carried on in a Qualifying Premises, the use of which is, in the opinion of the Town Architect, consistent with the requirements of the Development Plan for the functional area and in compliance with any planning permission relating to the Qualifying Premises in question. d.“Qualifying Premises” means a property in respect of which: (i) a rate has been made or may be made; and (ii) which has been vacant and available for sale or letting for a period of no less than 2 years prior to the occupation thereof by a Qualifying Occupier commencing a new Qualifying Business; and (iii) where the property is let/leased, the landlord of such property has allowed a reduction in rent equal to the amount of the grant payable under this scheme. e.“Qualifying Occupier” means a person carrying on a new Qualifying Business in the functional area and who has not, within the period of 2 years prior to the commencement of the relevant Qualifying Business, carried on such Qualifying Business from a property situate in the functional area. 3.For the purposes of this Scheme, a person is connected with an applicant for a refund of rates if he/she/ it is— a.a spouse, parent, grand-parent, brother, sister or child of such applicant; or b.a person acting in the capacity of a trustee of any trust, the principal beneficiaries of which are the applicant, his spouse or any of his children or any body corporate which he controls; or c.a partner of the applicant; or d.acts under the control or direction of such person; or e.a body corporate which is controlled by the applicant or any person listed at 3.a to 3.d above. 4.This scheme shall exclusively apply to Qualifying Occupiers commencing a new Qualifying Business in a Qualifying Premises in the functional area. 5.Subject to compliance with the terms of the Scheme, a Qualifying Occupier commencing a new Qualifying Business in a Qualifying Premises in the functional area and who has paid his or her commercial rates in full for the financial year in question (calculated pro-rata on a daily basis as appropriate where the Qualifying Occupier has occupied the premises in question for part of a year only), may apply at the end of the financial year in question for a business start-up grant. 6.Subject to compliance with the provisions of this Scheme, the grant paid shall be calculated in accordance with the following schedule to Qualifying Occupier who comply with the requirements of the Scheme: Year 1-100% of rates actually paid Year 2-50% of rates actually paid 7.The occupier of the premises alleged to be Qualifying Premises shall provide documentary evidence satisfactory to the Council for the purpose of verifying that the premises in question were vacant and advertised as available for letting for a minimum period of 2 years prior to the commencement of occupation by the Qualifying Occupier for the purpose of the Qualifying Business. 8.A Qualifying Business must remain in operation for a minimum period of one calendar year to qualify for a refund of rates under the terms of this Scheme. 9.Where an application for a business start-up grantis made to the Council by a rate payer claiming to be a Qualifying Occupier who occupies a Qualifying Premises that is leased for the purpose of a new Qualifying Business, a grant shall only be allowed where the immediate landlord of the premises in question bona fides reduces the commercial rent payable by the rate payer in respect of such premises by the monetary value as the grant allowable and provides confirmation of such reduction to the Council in writing.. 10.Anti-Avoidance 10.1 In addition to any other grounds, the Council shall be entitled to refuse an application for a business start-up grant under this Scheme where the Council is satisfied that: a.the business in question is not a new business set up in the functional area; b.the applicant or persons connected with the applicant have previously carried on such business or a similar business in the functional area within the period of 2 years prior to the application [but this shall not prevent the Council from allowing such grant where the Council is satisfied that such businesses are each separate bona fides undertakings unconnected with each other]; c.the premises in question were not genuinely vacant and available for sale or letting at a reasonable rent during the period of 2 years prior to the commencement of occupation and trade by the applicant; d.the premises were not bona fides open for trade for the entire of the year in question (save for normal holiday periods not exceeding 4 weeks in any calendar year); e.where the property is let/leased by the rate payer, the Landlord of such property has not made a bona fides reduction in the rent payable in accordance with Article 2.f.(iii) or has artificially increased the rent payable in respect of 10.2An applicant for a business start-up grant shall make full and open disclosure of all relevant facts and details when making such application. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the applicant shall make full and open disclosure of details of all similar businesses carried on by the applicant or persons connected with the applicant in the functional area within the period of 2 years prior to the date of the application. 10.3It shall be an offence for a person to provide false or misleading information in connection with an application for a business start-up grant. 10.4It shall be an offence for a Landlord of property let/leased to a rate payer claiming relief under this scheme, to: a. represent to the Council in connection with such claim, that he/she/it has made a reduction in the rent chargeable in respect of such property where a bona fides reduction in rent has not in fact been made or b. to increase the rent payable in respect of such property for the purpose of setting off such reduction. 10.5An entitlement to a business start-up grant under this Scheme is personal to the Qualifying Occupier entitled thereto and shall not be capable of being assigned to any third party. Any provision in an Agreement or lease for the assignment for such entitlements shall be void. 10.6 An application for a business start-up grant under this Scheme shall be made with 6 calendar months of the end of the calendar year to which the claim relates and shall thereafter expire for the year in question. 11.This Scheme shall cease to operate after the expiration of 4 years from the Operative Date. 12.A decision on the validity of an application for a business start-up grant shall be an administrative decision and shall be made by the Town Manage.
22nd January, 2013