A report by West Dorset District Council has approved a programme to roll out rate relief to village pubs in the area.
The council's community and economic regeneration manager Sarah Ward is recommending that the 50 per cent discretionary rate relief approved by the community development committee in January 2001 should be put into effect.
The relief would be extended to premises with a rateable value up to £9,000 to bring them in line with the mandatory relief already available to sole village pubs and petrol filling stations.
Mrs Ward said that while the rating order and the supporting non-domestic order had now been approved by parliament, there were significant differences between the scheme suggested in the Rural White Paper and the scheme that was approved.
"This will be backdated to Thursday 5 April for all properties that were eligible for relief on or before that date," she added.
The council has also called for a review of the designated settlement list that specifies rural communities with a population of than 3,000 and is based on parishes rather than settlements.
"It is therefore proposed that the District Council's Rural Settlement List be updated to comply with the spirit of the regulations and ensure that sole pubs, filling stations and general stores and post offices receive that rate relief to which they are entitled," said Mrs Ward.
She added that many of the rural pubs and filling stations in west Dorset were under significant financial pressure but did not qualify for hardship rate relief.
"The additional relief would constitute a useful benefit and assistance to many of the smaller businesses and should produce a positive benefit to their cashflow. This in turn will help them to remain a valuable facility for rural communities," she said.