Rural business specialists Malcolm Scott Consultants have welcomed business rates relief measures unveiled in the Autumn Statement by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.
The much-anticipated announcement has outlined a raft of plans aimed at helping ratepayers, with particular support being aimed at the much-beleaguered hospitality, leisure and retail sector, meaning that garden centres and farm shops will benefit from increased and extended relief.
Key takeaways include a freeze on the business rates multiplier for a further year, increased relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and abolishing the downward transitional relief system to ensure those seeing lower bills as a result of the forthcoming revaluation will benefit from the decrease straight away.
Andrew Burton, of Malcolm Scott Consultants, said: “The Autumn Statement 2022 is one that everyone has had a vested interest in, and while we are right to have concerns about the economy, we are pleased to see that significant steps have been taken to support businesses. Rating experts at our sister company Harris Lamb are on top of this and offering some good support for many of the businesses they work with across the UK.”
Andrew Hulbert, Rating advisor for Harris Lamb said “The dreadful impact of Covid-19 on retail and hospitality businesses has immediately been followed by the crushing hikes in energy costs, putting huge pressure on the retail and catering area across garden centres and farm shops. Therefore, we are extremely relieved that the government has extended and increased the relief scheme for these businesses from 50 per cent to 75 per cent for the 2023-24 period, up to £110,000 per business.
“All of this is positive news for the sector, but we have welcomed in particular the news that the downward transitional relief system has been abolished, something that we, along with other rating professionals, have been calling for for years,” he added.
The decision to remove the downward caps means that all businesses with declining rateable values as a result of the forthcoming 2023 revaluation will benefit immediately, making a significant difference for the 300,000 businesses affected by the transition system.
Rural businesses wishing to discuss the new relief measures, and seeking guidance with the forthcoming Revaluation on April 1st 2023, can contact Andrew at email@example.com.
The full extent of business rates support prepared by the government can be read here.