Hundreds of small businesses in Preston are failing to claim valuable tax relief.
Almost 900 commercial premises in the city which are eligible for small business rate relief are not receiving it.
The benefit is available to firms with a rateable value of below £18,000 a year and allows them to claim up to half of their business rates back from the Chancellor.
A national study recently suggested only 41% of firms which qualify for relief actually claim it.
Among the 891 premises on the list, published by Preston Council following a Freedom of Information request, are hotels, service stations, industrial units, market stalls, car parks and shops.
Cuthbert Culshaw, chairman of the Central Lancashire branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said he was surprised the figure for Preston was so high.
He said: “It’s been around for a few years now so I’m surprised there are so many not claiming.
“I can only assume it’s a lack of awareness.
“It’s not particularly difficult (to claim).
“The FSB has been campaigning for it to be automatically applied by local authorities but most don’t and the onus is on business owners to claim it.
“Business rates are a significant cost to small businesses and it’s definitely a benefit of value to them.
“I would encourage any small business owner to claim.”
More than 1,600 small businesses in Preston currently do claim rate relief, to the value of £2.8m.
Adrian Robinson, assistant director for revenues and benefits at Preston Council, said: “The council actively encourages small businesses to take up the rate relief.
“Information is available on the website www.preston.gov.uk/businesses and is also included in the leaflet issued with the rates bill.”