In April the new business rate scheme is set to arrive in across the country with some areas benefitting significantly whilst others are hit hard. Areas such as Blackpool and Bolton and other northern towns will see a huge rate drop of up to 56% whilst in areas of London retailers are anticipating increases of up to 87%. This will undoubtedly lead to closure of many retailers where these price hikes in business rates will take effect.
This has come at a time that is critical for retailers desperate to stay on course for positivity whilst a long winded Brexit deal is negotiated by parliament. It comes at a time when sterling is weak and the price of goods are going up daily.
The price hikes in London are putting added pressure on small business who trade on some of her famous streets. The price rises in business rates will see lots of these independent businesses close and handing over their keys to larger more corporate retailers who will be able to afford the new scheme.
We’re talking about the likes of green grocers, small bookshops, dry cleaners and corner shops who are the backbone of the high street for any community. These small businesses are being hit hard and it will undoubtedly lead to many closures.
On the flip side to the price hikes more than 70% of business in the UK will actually benefit from business rate cuts, helping to ease the burden on high street shops. Local town council’s eager to cash in on car parks have led to many shoppers choosing retail parks packed full of corporate giants. Inner town road systems that lead to the high street are not as attractive to shoppers who prefer to visit a retail park. The government’s choice to finally incentivise these businesses on the high street although a little late in the day is at least a very positive move.