News story

£130m Help for the High Street

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

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


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