Following the news that nearly 10,000 jobs have been lost in retail since the start of the year has led the government to announce an increase in the business rates discount for retailers.
The Centre for Retail Research found that 9,949 positions have been lost following high profile store closures from retailers including Mothercare, Debenhams and Asda and the threat of further job losses with the recent news surrounding Beales and Hawkin’s Bazaar earlier this month.
Business rates will often be one of a retailer’s largest costs and despite the closures largely being attributed to consumers altering their purchasing patterns and spending more of their money online it is hard to ignore the impact that business rates have on the UK’s struggling high streets.
Over the weekend (25th January) Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid commented that the retail discount would increase from one-third to 50%, the discount would also apply to cinemas & music venues and he would introduce an additional discount for pubs.
It’s estimated that the discount will help up to 90% of independent shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes with many of them having a rateable value below £51,000.
Changes in more detail:
> Increase in the level of the retail discount from one-third to 50% will apply in 2020/21 for eligible retail businesses occupying a property with a RV less than £51,000.
> Extension of this retail discount to those eligible music and cinema venues with an RV less than £51,000.
> Extension of the £1,500 business rates discount for office space occupied by local newspapers will apply for an additional five years until 31 March 2025.
> The pubs discount will provide a £1,000 discount to eligible pubs with an RV of less than £100,000 in 2020/21. This is in addition to the retail discount and will apply after the retail discount.
Our business rates experts believe that this weekend’s announcement is a welcome one for retailers with significant savings predicted from the start of the 2020/21 billing period but urge anyone unsure about the changes to get in touch.