In her first major speech new High Streets Minister Penny Mordaunt tells retailers that business rates support is now helping all parts the country.
Six months after it was introduced the £1,000 business rates discount for local shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs (up to a rateable value of £50,000) is estimated to be giving nearly 300,000 premises more than £272 million of tax relief this year.
Local figures show the support is spread across the country. For example an estimated 5,000 premises in Birmingham, 3,250 in Cheshire, 3,900 in Cornwall and 1,500 in Stockton-on-Tees. A full table with an estimated number of properties that will receive the £1,000 business rates retail relief by local authority is set out below.
Speaking at the annual high street retailers conference by the British Council of Shopping Centres, the minister said the retail discount was the centre piece of a wider billion pound package of targeted tax break support for the high street which includes the doubling of small business rate relief since 2010 helping an estimated half a million small firms. Many businesses have no bill to pay as a result of government policy.
A key part of the government’s long-term economic plan is to back business with lower taxes. The minister said these measures would be a huge boost for small retailers and businesses. Together with our sensible changes to planning rules and action to tackle unfair parking practices, we are helping local communities secure the future of their high streets.
Citing Portsmouth as a shining example of teamwork, where more than 1,100 premises are getting the £1,000 business rates discount which combined with the efforts of local traders was revitalising places like Cosham High Street. Penny Mordaunt said “new shops are opening, the place looks transformed.”
The minister called on all local authorities, businesses and citizens to follow this example and use government tax breaks as a springboard to shaping the future of Great British high streets across the country so they can remain a vibrant, viable part of the community where people live, shop, use services, and spend their leisure time.
High Streets Minister Penny Mordaunt said:
We must help all respond to the needs and wants of the consumer so the high streets remains at the heart of our communities - more than simply places to shop.
We announced the biggest package of business rates support in over 20 years to support local shops, pubs, cafes, and restaurants. Overall, this is worth £1 billion to business with half of that backing high street shop and retailers in England.
Around 300,000 retail premises are getting our new £1,000 retail discount and our comprehensive list shows where those shops are located in the country. A typical small business could now be saving 30% extra or more compared to last year’s bill.
The full list of business rate support measures are:
- a new reoccupation discount of 50% for 18 months for new occupants of retail premises that have previously been empty for a year or more
- allowing businesses to pay their bills over 12 months (rather than 10), which will help every firm with their cash flow
- a 2% cap on business rate inflation increase
- the new £1,000 business rates discount for local shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs (up to a rateable value of £50,000) estimated as more than £272 million of tax relief this year
- the doubling of the extension of the small business rate relief until 31 March 2015, which will mean 360,000 business properties pay no bill at all
Photo above by Howard Stanbury on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.