Small businesses face rates rise misery

More than 56,000 small businesses in England will face business rate increases totalling £152 million in April, according to research by rates specialist CVS.
37,364 small retailers, who are already battling inflation, a rise in import prices and unsteady consumer confidence, will see their business rates bills rise above inflation next April, with over 30,000 facing increases of between 10 per cent and 14.99 per cent. Over 10,000 medium sized shops are facing increases of over 15 per cent, an average tax increase of £3,253. And almost a thousand large shops could see an average increase of £46,153 each.
Following a fall in retail sales last month as inflation hit its highest level in more than five years, Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of British Retail Consortium, says this “may be the last straw” for many shops.
“Across the country, … the cost of failing to take action will likely be seen in yet more empty shops and gap-toothed High Streets,” she adds.
Mark Rigby, Chief Executive of CVS, says: “Brexit is driving inflation. Import prices have risen given the fall in the pound with prices rising faster than wages causing households to ‘tighten their belts’ on spending, especially on ‘big ticket’ items. Business investment has slowed and confidence fallen. Against this backdrop we already have the highest property taxes not only in Europe, but the world.”
He adds that the Chancellor must be “bold within his upcoming Budget next month through an unprecedented stimulus of freezing rate rises in April 2018.”
At Beavis Morgan, we have extensive experience of working with SME clients across a range of sectors and we are acknowledged experts in issues affecting retailers. We also work with property managers, investors and developers who actively need advice on how to best structure their property deals, both to ring-fence and protect their property assets, as well as to minimise the tax arising from their business operations.
Contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner for further information about how we can assist you and your SME business.