A we highlighted in our news item of 10 March 2017, The Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, introduced business rate protections for the pub sector In England in his Budget last month. Some firms in other sectors in England are also being protected via transitional arrangements.
However, City A.M. newspaper recently reported that “six out of 10 firms facing increased business rate bills are already planning cutbacks" according to new figures revealed.
"A survey of London's firms has now laid bare the sheer number of businesses forced to find savings.
A poll commissioned of 500 firms by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry has found that 60 per cent of businesses facing bigger bills will make cutbacks, including downsizing or relocations.”
Furthermore, “17 per cent say that that the increases, which are likely to hit firms in London and the South East hardest, could see them move some activities outside of the capital."
The survey also found that “larger businesses, with ten or more staff, were more likely to reduce overall staff numbers. Just over one in four big business said they would cut headcount, compared to 15 per cent of smaller firms.”
The full article can be found here:
Whilst Business Rates are a devolved issue, these worrying business rates concerns identified from the survey by firms down south will also ring true for many of our clients and other ratepayers in Scotland.
We have found that having to budget for, in many cases, large increases until the appeal can be heard is causing some ratepayers considerable budgetary and cashflow headaches in the meantime.
Landlords, tenants and occupiers alike are therefore advised to budge accordingly, where possible. It cannot be stressed highly enough that, if they have not already done so, they should lodge an appeal on their new rates assessments.
Failure to submit an appeal by 30 September 2017 will lead to a loss of a right to challenge the new assessment, potentially resulting in excessive rates bills until 2022 at the earliest.