MPs Demand Immediate Business Rates Reform

30th January 2018.

After the false start in the business rates relief fund, the influential Treasury Select Committee has now called for an urgent review of the crippling business rates. This follows a disappointing holiday season for retailers, where they saw a drop in sales as spending failed to spike as expected. The dreaded business rates has long been hated by high street retailers and many small businesses have struggled to remain open as a result. Many of our members are small business owners who struggle with the fragility of the high street. Now that online sellers have become more popular it has placed extra pressure on brick and mortar stores. We encourage our members to come to us to free their cash flow and encourage consumers to enhance their loyalty to high street stores.

The Treasury has criticised the “crippling” business rates and urged for reform, such as shortening the time between rate reviews.

The current five-year gap has led to massive increases in places where property values have soared – such as London.

Other concessions, also proposed last year, included rebates for small firms and changes intended to lead to more moderate rises.

MPs and leading retail executives say these measures are piecemeal and do not go far enough.

John Rogers, chief executive at Argos, is “not surprised” that those stores that have issued profit warnings and even collapsed, have had a strong high street presence.

Mr Rogers insists that we need a “radical reform”.

James Daunt, chief executive of Waterstones bookstores has said that while his chain doesn’t need the concession, the priority should go to small businesses and independents who give the high street “its personality”.

The Treasury said it recognises ‘the vital contributions’ that high street businesses make to the economy.

High street retailers are in a very precarious position. Not only are people spending less than they were a year ago, but less are trudging the streets. More and more consumers are avoiding the crowds and browsing online sellers within the comfort of their own home. While this has little impact on chain brands who have online stores, this will prove devastating for small businesses who rely on their personable approach. There has been certain attempts to change this mindset, with the Small Business Saturday holiday in the UK and the USA, and twitter still promotes its #shopsmall hashtag- but it all might not be enough. The Government needs to give independent businesses a chance and reduce the business rates that are threatening them. While technology has made our lives easier, more people should make an effort to visit their favourite stores and their favourite sales people. Automation do not have to be the assumed future for business.

In the meantime however, here at the Credit Protection Association, our team can free up cash flow that has become run down by high business rates. We can chase late payers, improve your credit rating, and put you back on the streets in better shape. Get in touch with the details below!

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

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