Fair Rates for Retail: A much-needed break for the industry

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Fair Rates for Retail: A much-needed break for the industry

Retail Week and the British Retail Consortium have launched a campaign lobbying Government to freeze business rates and change how they are calculated, to ensure they are fairer, predictable and above all, affordable.

Retail generates 8% of the UK’s GDP and retailers currently pay 28% of all business rates, but sadly some in the industry are suffering. This campaign is apt, as JJB and Optical Express have just announced administration procedures, culminating in store closures, which could result in more than 2,000 job losses across the UK.

The campaign asserts that the industry needs a break to allow it to recover and thrive, and the Government stepping in would be the most expedient way of giving retailers the breathing space they need. In addition, Landlords are also under pressure to survive the economic turbulence. It’s not necessarily feasible to change the way rents are calculated or billed, as many vehemently call for. A change from Government would affect the entire industry, rather than the piecemeal effect likely to come from changes in rents.

Whether you agree it’s the right way forward or not, the business rates debate is a timely and important one, so to share your views, tweet us @Inn_Tweets or leave a comment on the Retail Week website.

Jo Hooper, Senior Account Manager

 

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