Budget brings business rate relief for SMEs | Commercial law

Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed the business rates reliefs planned for smaller commercial properties in last month’s budget.

In an attempt to address the decline of the high street the budget provides some respite for smaller businesses by cutting their business rates bill. Businesses operating from premises with a rateable value of £51,000 or less will see their rates bills cut by a third over a two-year period.

This initiative is in addition to the existing small business relief which fully exempts properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or less from paying business rates, and provides for a reduction on business rates for properties with a rateable value of £12,000 – £15,000 on a sliding scale.

The relief from business rates is timely following a sharp rise in business rates as a result of the 2017 revaluation of business premises which saw, in some cases, a 100% increase in rates for some high street businesses.

Further assistance includes capping the rates for growing businesses that exceed the small business relief threshold to prevent their rates going up by more than £50 per month, and a further £1,000 discount for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 (around 90% of England’s pubs) is to be provided.

These measures are part of a wider plan to save and revitalise high streets following a record rise in shop closures with a recent survey recording 14 closures per day. Alongside business rate relief for smaller properties, the Chancellor announced funding of £675 million to improve local transport links and create a task force focussed on “developing innovative strategies to help high streets evolve”. This is in conjunction with a relaxation of planning rules to enable empty premises to be used as gyms, libraries and housing.

For more information on how Thursfields can assist with Commercial Properties matters contact our retail sector expert Robert Pettigrew on 0121 796 4022 or rpettigrew@thursfields.co.uk

Thursfields’ expert Commercial Property Solicitors are available at any of our offices and surrounding areas – Birmingham, Worcester, Kidderminster, Solihull, and Halesowen.

Get In touch