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Business Rates Cut

The Chancellor promises to help small shops by cutting business rates by a third for all retailers in England with a rateable value of £51,000 or less.

That will mean an annual saving of “up to £8,000 for up to 90% of all independent shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes”.

Mr Hammond announces £675m of co-funding to create a “Future High Streets Fund” to support councils to draw up plans for the transformation of their High Streets.

Mr Hammond says this will allow them to invest in the improvements they need and to facilitate redevelopment of under-used retail and commercial areas into residential.

Northallerton BID greeted the news with cautious optimism. Julia Robinson, Northallerton BID Manager said

“It’s a step in the right direction, but the sum on offer is a fraction of the billions collected in business rates from UK companies every year, much of it from our local High Streets. We have recently heard that High Street Shops could provide the answer to loneliness and isolation in elderly populations, yet the pressures on real world retail compared to the digital shopping space increase every day.”

If the Government wants to safeguard our retail centres against online competiton, many of which pay little UK taxes at all, it must get more out of the planned £650M to support the High Street. The UK Government should invest in local BIDs who are all striving to save our commercial town centres, many of them hundreds of years old, so that they can serve future generations and provide for more to come.”

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