Shops with a rateable value of up to £6,000 will pay no business rates for 12 months. Partial relief is available for those with a rateable value of up to £12,000.
Alistair Darling’s move will typically save shop owners hundreds of pounds.
Matthew Williamson, associate director at Christie & Co, said it would provide “some much-needed breathing space at a time when they are having to deal with rising administration costs and increasing wage bills”.
David Daykin, owner of Archer Road Beer Stop in Sheffield, was already benefiting from reduced rates but welcomed the further cut.
“Our rates should be about £700 but we get a 50% reduction with small business rate relief, so we pay £350,” he said. “This government has had a positive effect on small businesses.”?“But everybody is expecting VAT to go up to 20% later this year and that will make it difficult.”?John Walker, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “A third of FSB members have said
business rates are the biggest taxation obstacle to growth. The announcement will go far to help firms, especially local shops and businesses.”?It has been estimated that only 41% of businesses eligible for small business rate relief actually claim their entitlement, raising the possibility that some shop owners in the £6,000 to £12,000 bracket will not benefit as intended.
James Lowman, chief executive of the
Association of Convenience Stores, said: “Action on business rates is absolutely key to helping recovery in high streets. But the proposal to extend small business rate relief does not go far enough. Many local shops operate from premises well above the thresholds entitling them to the benefit the Chancellor has announced.”