Calls for a fair system of business rates

“There needs to be a level playing field for ALL in order for our High Streets to survive.”

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Even before the current pandemic, there were fears for the high street:

High Streets Hub > lessening the burden of the unfair business rates system, the dwindling bank branch and ATM networks and the lack of adequate parking facilities in town centres

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With the MP at the time meeting up with business leaders to talk through what could be done:

Sir Hugo meeting shopkeepers

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The current MP will be meeting business people on-line this Wednesday:

sidmouthchamber.co.uk

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At its most recent meeting, the Chamber of Commerce was very clear that one measure had to be taken – and introduce a fair system of business rates:

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Business Rates: Sidmouth needs ‘a level playing field’ to protect the High Street

Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce is pushing for ‘a level playing field’ for local businesses to help them compete with online business which do not pay business rates.

The chamber made the comments after the Government announced yesterday that it has postponed a revaluation of business rates until 2022, ‘to ensure businesses have more certainty during this difficult time’.

Nub news contacted Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce for its reaction to the news. In response the chamber has called for a change in the rules around business rates which it believes is unfairly penalising High Street businesses.

“We do not think that that government has any choice but to delay this revaluation,” said a spokesperson for Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce. “Whilst the COVID-19 business rates relief is much welcomed for 2020/21, we have to be prepared that it is going to take some businesses a number of years to recover from this pandemic, especially those businesses that have had to take out CBLIS and Bounce Back loans to survive.

“There is much contention regarding Business Rates, and how businesses on the High Street, that pay business rates can compete with those who trade solely online and do not have these fixed costs. There needs to be a level playing field for ALL in order for our High Streets to survive.”

The revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021 to help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announced yesterday.

Business Rates: Sidmouth needs ‘a level playing field’ to protect the High Street

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This issue has been revisited many times:

Futures Forum: How to revive the health of high streets > make business rates fairer (March 2018)

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There are so many issues around business rates, however:

Futures Forum: Councils and business rates: “their short-term focus on raking in money could end up destroying town centres weighed down by huge tax burdens” (July 2018)

Futures Forum: “Local authorities are going to become increasingly dependent on business rates and yet by so doing they will potentially drive up the costs of healthcare in their localities.” (February 2017)

Futures Forum: Are councils failing to apply discounts on business rates? (March 2019)

   
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