Retailers need business rates ‘allowance’ to offset cost pressures

The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) has urged the government to prioritise independently run retail outlets when it comes to managing the burden of business rates.

BIRA met with specialist advisor Jimmy McLoughlin, previous deputy head of policy and head of external relations at the IoD, at Number 10 to discuss the nub of the high street problems with the business relations specialist.

BIRA highlighted a number of burdens on retailer at the moment, citing business rates as a massive tax for high street shops, with lingerie outlets among those affected by extortionate rates. It said the issue was exacerbated by the recent overdue revaluation.

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While the Government has raised the rate fee amount to £12,000 with a taper run off to £15,000, BIRA argues it is not enough to support the independents.

The association suggested there should be an allowance, rather than a ‘cliff edge’ of £12,000, so that smaller businesses would not be under constant pressure.

Earlier this year BIRA stated that it aims to impress on all political parties that stability for this sector is needed.

A spokesperson from BIRA said:“After all, whilst the retail sector currently accounts for 5.7% of gross domestic product, this is not guaranteed to continue in the future unless an incoming Government helps ensure that Britain will not be hit with a stalling economy, rising prices and a weak pound sterling, by doing all they can to help businesses and entrepreneurs thrive.”

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