Tax & admin Fred Heritage · 12 December 2017
Struggling businesses in 46 council areas set to spend Christmas without rates relief
The 46 slowest councils in England and Wales in terms of handing out business rates relief have been urged to do so before Christmas. Responding to the latest figures published by the Department of Communities and Local Government, which lists 46 local UK authorities that havent yet distributed rates relief to qualifying businesses, trade body the Federation of Businesses (FSB) has waded in on behalf of struggling small firms. In a statement, the FSB’s national chairman, Mike Cherry, said: Before council offices have their parties and close for the festive break, we call on these 46 local councils to do the right thing and help businesses that are struggling this Christmas. Let’s get the 46 down to zero. Business rates burden caused six shop closures every day for seven years Amongst the local councils which havent yet offered rates relief to any of their constituent business owners are those with some of the largest rates relief allocations. For example, Hammersmith and Fulham, Nottingham and Northumberland three council bodies that have collectively been allocated 7.5m in urgent business rates relief over the next five years have yet to distribute any relief money to local business. The call comes nine months after the chancellor, Philip Hammond, gave the go ahead for a 300m business rates hardship fund, in advance of a revaluation which saw huge increases to the business rates bills of thousands of small business owners. it’s completely unacceptable that small firms in these areas are being put in jeopardy by this lethargic attitude, Cherry went on to say. it’s now nine months on from the announcement of emergency relief for those most harmed by April’s business rates revaluation. While some councils got on and distributed that help, others have been slower to take action.
ABOUT THE EXPERTFred Heritage
Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.