As announced in the Budget 2018, small retail businesses in England are set to benefit from a reduction to business rates.

Business rates are to be reduced by a third for many retail properties with a rateable value below £51,000 for two years from April 2019, subject to state aid limits.

Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, stated that this would mean “an annual saving of £8,000 for up to 90% of all independent shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes”.

While some industry bodies have welcomed this boost, others have argued that wider reform is required to benefit retailers.

Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson, said:

“Retailers are currently in the midst of a perfect storm of factors – technology changing how people shop, rising public policy costs and softening demand.

“Rather than tinkering around the edges, struggling high streets require wholesale reform of business rates in order to thrive.

“The issue remains that the business rates burden is simply too high.”

Quote from Nigel Holland of Holland & Co Chartered Accountants:

“Although cuts to business rates are great for small retailers, there are more problems that need to be addressed. Many people these days would rather order their goods online for delivery, without the need go out of their way to visit a shop. Maybe high street retailers are better off resorting to distributing through online stores.”