Introducing Roberts Vain Wilshaw
When Place North West asked me recently if we’d like to take over as the expert voice on business rates, I was very pleased and quite flattered. While the Roberts Vain Wilshaw team has been around in the business rates world for more years than many of us would like to admit, we’re still a relatively new business, just entering our third year.
Place then dropped the bombshell: “you need to make business rates sound interesting!” That’s quite a tall order as let’s face it, business rates is a dry old subject. It only really holds interest to most people when there’s an unexpected liability or a welcome savings. The rest of the time, it’s just another tax that’s characterised by endless “who does your rates?” phone calls.
For a brief moment in March 2020, rating was exciting as it became the mechanism through which the government delivered assistance and relief under the guise of Expanded Retail Discount and various grants.
What happens from 1 April 2021, the start of the next rate year, will depend on Rishi’s Budget on 3 March. Something is definitely afoot though and we expect more business rates related measures as councils have been asked to delay sending rates bills until after the budget announcement. We’ll let you know more in due course. And promise to try and make it sound interesting.
We’re also planning on providing comment on other stories that appear in Place – putting the hypothetical world of rating into a real-world context, which will hopefully make it easier to identify where some proper business rates advice can produce savings for your business.
RVW doesn’t just do rating. Our agency team, headed by Joseph Wilshaw will also be making comments about non-rating issues.
We also have another new and unique string to our bow – we’ve developed PropData, a data platform that’s based around the 3.2m assessments in the rating list that accurately matches the ratepayer to the property. The result is the largest and most comprehensive data platform in the marketplace. A bold claim but something we will be using to support our insight in the future.
These are unprecedented but exciting times. We’re looking forward to working with the team at Place North West as well as engaging with its readers. If anyone has anything specific they’d like to know about business rates, RVW or PropData then get in touch. We can either include in our regular articles or speak directly. We’re looking forward to it. And I’m sure we can make this dry old subject interesting.
The new business rates year starts on 1 April and it seems an apt time to look at the weird and wonderful rating list descriptions that have built up.
The Government yesterday announced legislative changes to prevent the pandemic and potentially other “market-wide economic changes” being used as grounds to support reduced rateable values.
If you haven’t taken action already then I’d urge you to act quickly before the opportunity is lost.