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Councils Aren’t Doing Enough for SMEs, Credit Managers Can do Better

Councils are failing to use their powers to cut business rates and help struggling local shops survive.

Despite the state of vulnerability that most small and medium-sized businesses have found themselves, they are receiving little support from local authorities. Despite the important role they play in maintaining a healthy economy, SMEs are being ignored by councils, who aren’t seeing the need for a rate decrease. Business rates are hurting small businesses, with the extra costs adding pressure to those who are already battling low profits and low consumer confidence. If the UK is to protect these lifebloods of the economy, local authorities need to do more to keep them around.

According to new analysis by the Altus Group consultancy, there were only £21 million of reductions in this financial year, with an increasingly limited frequency. Altus Group was warned that town centres could fail if councils do not start using their powers to make a change. Rates have skyrocketed in recent years, with department stores hit with an average increase of nearly £151,000 in the past two years, while small shops have seen rates climb by £9,623.

If businesses are to move past recent retail crises and charge towards prosperity, operating costs either need to be reduced or business finances need to become better equipped to combat them. While think-tanks and retailers rally around a rates decrease, businesses can also help themselves. At the Credit Protection Association, our debt recovery services recover residual debt and chase down unpaid invoices, awarding our Members with extra cash and renewed financial stability. All our Members need to do is get in touch.

Sam Dumitriu, of the Adam Smith Institute, a think-tank, said: ‘Councils would rather prioritise their chief executives’ salaries over lessening the burden on businesses. There needs to be quite radical reform of rates to support businesses.’

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: ‘Local authorities must get to grips with the dire situation currently sweeping the high street and start backing hard-working retailers being hit hard by crippling rates bills.’

The Daily Mail’s Save Our High Streets campaign is calling for business rates to be reformed, car parking charges to be slashed and huge foreign technology companies such as Amazon to be fairly taxed.


Around 50,000 retail staff have lost their jobs this year and almost 61,000 stores closed between 2012 and 2017 as internet retailers ruthlessly out-compete traditional bricks and mortar companies.

It is a difficult environment for retailers at present, with the high street littered with insolvencies and restructuring procedures, and a multitude of economic conditions damaging profits and prospects. SMEs and SME sympathizers have been demanding rates reform for a while now- with little progress. While these extra costs are inconvenient and damaging to business health, small businesses can also approach third parties for relief.

Credit management companies like us at the Credit Protection Association, provide business owners with extra support to offset economic complexities. The collaboration between our debt recovery and credit management products ensure our Members have both the cash to combat rate increases, as well as the credit checks to secure the long-term prospects of their business.

Please call us on 0330 053 9263 to discuss how CPA can help your cashflow.
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The Latest Insolvencies to 09 Jul 2018

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