Autumn budget rate relief 'not enough to revive high streets'

Budget was a missed opportunity to cap business rates, says ACS
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The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed a one year extension to the small business rate relief scheme, but criticised yesterday's autumn budget for not doing enough for the High Street.

The government has already earned scorn from a number of retail representatives for postponing the revaluation of business rates until 2017.

Previously the ACS had been campaigning to have business rates capped at 2 per cent.

“We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of a one year extension to the small business rate relief scheme, but will not benefit enough businesses to stimulate the investment needed to revive High Streets," said ACS chief executive James Lowman.

“The Chancellor had a golden opportunity to give some financial certainty and respite to hard pressed businesses by capping the annual rates increase at 2 per cent – the same as the council tax cap and the government’s inflation target – but he has failed to act. This will be a damaging blow to many local shops who are struggling to stay afloat.

“It is in local shops across the UK where it is entrepreneurs who are making investments and creating jobs that will keep local high streets alive."

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