Challenge “anti-business” rates

Posted on: 25th March 2013

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, is urging Government agencies to review business rate levels for town centre shops.

As local authorities are about to take responsibility for the collection of business rates, Mr George is intensifying his campaign to encourage the Government to review business rate levels for town centre shops.  He argues that business rates are one of the key reasons why hard-pressed town centre retailers are folding.

In recent months Mr George has assisted some town centre shops struggling with the burden of business rates.  He is urging others to contact him so that he can better understand the pressures they face.

Mr George is offering to help the local business community take up the opportunity of becoming a Business Improvement District – which would give town centres the opportunity to shape plans to attract and drive trade and footfall in and around the town centres.  He has also pressed local Government Ministers on proposals to devolve responsibility for the discretionary management of business rate collection provisions under the Government’s Localism Act (2011).

Mr George said, “I was disappointed that the Chancellor didn’t offer more help for small retailers in this year’s budget.  Though small business rate relief can help the smallest, many modest sized retailers are crucified by the level of business rates levied on their shop.  Added to the ‘upward only’ rent review clause in high street retail business leases, many small retailers face crippling hikes in rates, even when turnover declines.  Frankly, the whole system should be reviewed.”


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