Government has ‘no choice’ but to postpone business rate revaluation, says Sidmouth chamber

Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce says high street businesses could take years to recover from the lockdo

Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce says high street businesses could take years to recover from the lockdown. Ref shs 9252-25-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

The Government was left with ‘no choice’ but to postpone the revaluation of business rates, according to Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce.

The Government announced that the anticipated revision of the rates, which was set to take place in 2021, will now not happen due to the current coronavirus crisis.

Business rates are a tax businesses pay for non-domestic use of a building. These are set according to the ‘rateable value’ of the premises.

The last valuation took place in 2017 and legislation had been introduced to bring the next revaluation forward by one year from 2022 to 2021.

However, following the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, government ministers ‘want to ensure businesses have more certainty during this difficult time’.

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A spokesman for Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce said the Government were left with no alternative and warned businesses could face ‘years’ of hardship after the coronavirus crisis.

The spokesman said: “We do not think that that government has any choice but to delay this revaluation.

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“Whilst the Covid-19 business rates relief is much welcomed for 2020/21, we have to be prepared that it is going to take some businesses a number of years to recover from this pandemic, especially those businesses that have had to take out CBLIS (Coronavirus Business Loan Interruption Scheme) and bounce back loans to survive.

“There is much contention regarding business rates, and how businesses on the High Street that pay business rates can compete with those who trade solely online and do not have these fixed costs.

“There needs to be a level playing field for all in order for our High Streets to survive.”

Secretary of State for Communities Robert Jenrick said: “Now is the time for us to continue to focus on supporting businesses affected by the pandemic, including through our unprecedented package of almost £10 billion in business rates relief.”

The government is continuing work on a review of business rates, with the ‘key aims of reducing the overall burden on businesses, improving the current business rates system, and considering more fundamental changes in the medium-to-long term’.

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