The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), which represents thousands of independent retail businesses across the UK, has welcomed the Conservative party’s proposal to support high streets if they are re-elected.
Bira said: ‘After a three-year campaign, we’re pleased to see a significant reduction in rates proposed and a fundamental review of rates. We have been working with the government over the past three years to offer a solution to the outdated and unfair rates system.
‘At a debate at the Houses of Parliament, led by Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, Bira outlined its proposal to create a cost-neutral solution to rates, creating a £12,000 automatically-applied allowance for small independent businesses – and it seems the Conservatives were listening.’
Andrew Goodacre, ceo of Bira, commented: “The proposed 50% reduction in business rates is a crucial and significant support for the high street and for small independent retail businesses. The average business rates for small independents are around £24,000 so the proposed reduction of 50% is in line with our own proposal given to the government.
“Whilst we wholeheartedly support the proposal and believe it will make the difference between survival or closure for small retailers, what we really need for long term survival is the fundamental review of rates that has now been announced. It is in line with the findings of the Treasury Select Committee’s report on business rates that said plainly that the business rates system is broken. We look forward to working with the government to ensure that a new system is effective and is implemented quickly for the benefit of business.
“Bira would also like to see more of a commitment to the high street from the other political parties and is committed to working with the future government to keep our Great British High Streets vibrant and fit for the future.”
Bira ceo Andrew Goodacre