A recent call by members of the Loughborough BID and other local businesses for the Government to take action on business rates has been taken on board by the Chancellor the Exchequer in his Autumn Statement.
Speaking in the House of Commons earlier today the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the following business rates package worth £1.13 Billion – aimed particularly at helping retailers.
- Business Rates will be capped at 2% (Down from planned 3.2%) (14/15 cost – £270 million)
- Small Business Rate Relief will be extended for another year, helping 540,000 businesses. (14/15 cost – £500 million)
- Businesses will be allowed to pay their rates in 12 monthly instalments
- Clear pledge to clear backlog of valuation appeals in time for revaluation
- A new £1,000 discount for businesses with a rateable value up to £50,000 (for 2 years) (14/15 cost – £350 million)
- Creation of a Reoccupation Relief that will give a 50% relief on business rates for new occupants of retail premises that have been empty for 18 months (14/15 cost – £5 million)
- Changing single property criteria to encourage growth. This will allow small businesses to retain Small Business Rate Relief for a year if they take on an additional property that pushes them over the current threshold. (14/15 – £5 million)
The Chairman of the Loughborough BID, recently wrote to Loughborough’s MP, Nicky Morgan, setting out his thoughts on action the Government could take to help local retailers and town centre businesses with business rates. Mrs Morgan, who is also Economic Secretary to the Treasury, took the BID’s demands into a meeting with the Chancellor. In particular one of the suggestions, put forward by the BID, was to allow businesses to pay their rates over 12 months rather than 10 – something the Chancellor announced today.
Speaking after the Autumn Statement Nicky Morgan said, “I meet Roger Perrett and other members of the Loughborough BID regularly and recently held a breakfast meeting with local businesses on the future of our High Streets. I took their ideas directly to the Chancellor and I am very pleased that the Government has been able to announce a package of measures which will make a real difference to local businesses now. Ahead of Small Business Saturday and on top of the forthcoming £2000 national insurance contributions exemption for businesses of all sizes I think this shows just how committed I am as Loughborough’s MP, and this Government is, to supporting our high streets and retailers.”