Christmas cheer for small independents in Queen’s Speech
Small independents are one of the first winners in The Queen’s Speech today, after it confirmed help for them through a business rates cut.
A 50% business rate discount for small firms for one year was announced, that also covers independent cinemas, music venues and pubs. Music venues owners and publicans have been particularly vociferous in their protests against crippling business rates over recent years so they can at least claim a partial victory.
Measures are also being introduced to ensure business rate payers in England have bills that are more accurately aligned with current property values through more frequent business rates revaluations.
This isn’t new news, but business rates revaluations will increase from five to every 3 years. The next revaluation will also be brought forward a year from 2022 to 2021.
Most of the above was due to be introduced via legislation before the General Election but didn’t make it through before the dissolution of the last Parliament.
One of the Conservative manifesto pledges was to further review Business Rates so we can expect additional scrutiny and then possible reform over the course of this Parliament.
In a key legal moment for business rates, the Valuation Office Agency has been denied permission to appeal a judgement it claimed would affect billions of pounds in rates...
Many Local Authorities are refusing business rates relief to office-based companies whose staff are working remotely during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The Scottish Government has announced that coronavirus financial support is to be expanded to include businesses that share properties.