News story

£130m Help for the High Street

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

29,000 retail premises in south-west to benefit from £1,500 cash boost.


Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne today visited businesses in Thornbury, near Bristol, to see the government’s support for the High Street.

This year the Autumn Statement included a £130 million package of extra Help for the High Street - with smaller shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants receiving a 50% increase in their business rates discount.

Around 300,000 eligible retail, food and drink premises are receiving up to a £1,000 discount on their business rates in 2014 to 15. Next year this discount will be increased to £1,500.

Some 29,000 retail properties in the south-west are estimated to benefit from the £1,500 retail discount – including 1,350 in south Gloucester and 2,000 in Bristol.

The Chancellor George Osborne said:

We have again helped High Street small businesses deal with the burden of business rates.

High Street shops, pubs and cafes across Britain have a massively important role to play – which is why we have increased their business rates discount to £1,500.

This boost, helping them to grow, is not just part of the government’s long-term economic plan, it is also an important part of supporting our communities.

A total of £1bn of measures to help businesses with the cost of business rates for all 1.8m rate-paying businesses was announced in the Autumn Statement.

These measure include:

  • doubling of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) for a further year to 31 March 2016 to provide support for 575,000 of the smallest businesses, ensuring 385,000 pay no rates at all
  • capping the inflation-linked increase in the business rates multiplier at 2% to benefit all businesses who pay business rates
  • extending transitional arrangements to support 16,000 small business facing significant bill increases due to the ending of Transitional Rate Relief
  • increasing the discount on business rates for retail premises with rateable values of £50,000 or below by 50% to £1,500

In total the Autumn Statement package will support south-west business by £73m – helping businesses in 190,000 properties spend less on business rates.

An estimated 76,000 south-west small businesses will benefit from doubling of Small Business Rate Relief from April 2015, with 54,000 paying no rates at all.

This is in addition to a relief to help empty shops get back into use, announced at Autumn Statement 2013.

Published 12 December 2014