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.