Thousands of businesses across the country are bracing themselves for dramatic changes to the amount they pay in business rates. The move, which will come into effect on 1 April 2017, will hit growing business neighbourhoods hardest.
At Better Bankside we have done some research into how our members will be affected and have found that 96 percent of businesses in the BID area will see an increase in business rates. The average change in rateable value in the area will be a 49 per cent increase, whilst the largest increase in rateable value for a single hereditament is a staggering 420 per cent.*
Business rates in the UK represent one of the largest overheads for businesses and substantially impact on profitability. This is the first time since 2010 that a change in business rates has been proposed.
Better Bankside has expressed deep concerns that the business rates revaluation that will result in significant increases for businesses in the Bankside area. Alongside a number of inner London BIDs we have been involved with lobbying and have issued a press release to media on how our neighbourhood will be impacted.
Donald Hyslop, Chair of Better Bankside, commented: “We have worked incredibly hard to protect Bankside’s independent essence. It’s the home of Borough Market, Tate Modern and many creative industries which are vital to London's creative economy. The increase in business rates threatens to sanitise our neighbourhood and price out the unique and special businesses that give this city its character. The spirit of London will be lost as it becomes unrecognisable from any other city in the world.”
Speaking about the impact of the revaluation on his business, Mike Hill, Director at specialist drinks company, Utobeer said: “Our rateable value has increased from £25k to over £75k, this seems extreme and bears no relationship to the actual property or its commercial value. The transition process has not been well communicated and we are unsure what our likely transitional relief will be. There can be little doubt that this process unadjusted will see numerous small businesses close with the associated loss of jobs and will damage the enterprise culture.”
However, the same cannot be said for large ‘out-of-town’ grocery multiples, who will benefit from the change in business rates. It has been reported that the out-of-town supermarkets could be in line for a £200million business rate cut in April.
Peter Williams, Better Bankside CEO, commented: "Now that we are increasingly acknowledging the role of town and city centres in the economic, environmental and social health of the nation, the real travesty is the way that this outdated tax favours out-of-town retail and service models."
See recent article in the Evening Standard quoting Better Bankside chair Donald Hyslop here.
*Figures above taken from the Valuation Office Agency website. Check the current rateable value, and draft 2017 draft valuation of your property here.