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27 Oct 2021

Bira: Biz rates discount could actually cost indies more

Bira is raising concerns the business rates 'discount' announced in today's Budget could actually cost indies more.

Bira was initially 'pleased' the Chancellor of the Exchequer had addressed business rates and some of the other burdens faced by indie retailers in his Autumn Statement.

However, Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO, said: "The devil is in the detail.

"The rates bill for this year was reduced to 25% (of normal levels) in response to Covid.

"Therefore reducing rates by 50% next year is in fact a 100% increase on what businesses are actually paying. On top of everything else, this will be a challenge."

 

He added: "We believe more could have been done. This is especially true considering all the other inflation-busting increases such as wages, energy, supply chain, etc.

“We also welcome the use of rates relief to encourage investment in properties and the shorter time periods between rates reviews (reduced from five years to three years). The problem is that 2022 will more about survival than investment. It will be a really difficult year for the high street and we hoped for more recognition of this to protect local communities, jobs and livelihoods.”

The business rates relief 'cap' of £110,000 has also raised questions with Bira seeking clarity on whether this is per property, or per business.

Andrew, and Bira member Surinder Josan of All Seasons DIY in Smethwick, spoke to the Daily Mirror about their concerns here

What did you think of the Chancellor's statement? We'd love to hear your views. Email emily.bridgewater@bira.co.uk or call our membership team now on 0800 028 0245.


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