Small retail businesses in England will see a reduction to their business rates, as announced in Budget 2018.
Business rates will be reduced by a third for many retail properties with a rateable value below £51,000 for two years from April 2019, subject to state aid limits.
The Chancellor said this will mean “an annual saving of £8,000 for up to 90% of all independent shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes”.
This was part of a series of measures announced to support high streets in the UK under the pressures of high costs and growing competition from online retailers.
While industry bodies have welcomed the boost, some have argued that the system needs wider reform.
Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general at the Confederation of British Industry, said:
“Smaller businesses will be relieved by the support on business rates at a time where the current system is crippling many high streets.
“But larger retailers and manufacturers – and the millions they employ across the UK – will continue to suffer needlessly until there is a full, in-depth review.”
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, added:
“Retailers are currently in the midst of a perfect storm of factors – technology changing how people shop, rising public policy costs and softening demand.
“Rather than tinkering around the edges, struggling high streets require wholesale reform of business rates in order to thrive.
“The issue remains that the business rates burden is too high.”
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