In addition to the already announced capping at 2% of business rates, Chancellor Osborne introduced a discount of up to £1,000 for retail and food and drink premises with a rateable value of less than £50,000 starting 1 April 2014.
Other measures announced include:
- Introduction of a 50% business rates relief for 18 months for businesses that move into retail premises which have been unoccupied for a year or more. In order to qualify for the relief, businesses need to move into the empty premises between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016
- Extension of Small Business Rate Relief – now available for an extra year from 1 April 2014 and
- Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) on second properties, allowing businesses already in receipt of the SBRR to take on an additional property in order to retain SBRR on the first property for one year, effective from 1 April 2014
- Promotion of ‘Small Business Saturday’ to encourage consumers to support local businesses
Whilst the measures don’t go as far as many business institutions had hoped and campaigned for, we welcome the announcements made so far and look forward to further measures in next year’s Budget..