Regional firms could pay lower business rates

Regional retailers are set to benefit from business rate relief from April next year, following the outcomes of the 2017 business rates reviews.

The move, first announced by then Chancellor George Osborne in the 2016 Budget, will see rates double from the start of the next financial year.

But research from CBRE revealed that those in London can expect to pay more, while those in regional areas can expect to pay less.

Their survey tracked the percentage rateable value movement between 2010 and 2017 and found that Bristol had a rateable value decrease of 44%.

Leeds and Aberdeen also had deductions of at least 33%, which represents a chance for small businesses to increase the number of properties they own as it becomes cheaper to do so.

In Central London meanwhile, rates in areas such as Mount Street could increase by as much as 170%, while firms in Birmingham and Liverpool can expect rate rises of 9% and 1% respectively.

These increases could put pressure on firms that operate on tight budgets, as they may no longer be able to afford to stay in those locations.

Businesses could face administration in some circumstances, although there are a range of alternative financial and recovery that may be able to aid the situation.

Alongside Mount Street in the capital, several other areas are also expected to see notable increases on rate values, including Brompton Road and Knightsbridge, where the CBRE expects a 52% rise.

Oxford Street West and Oxford Street East will also see a rise of 50% and 20% respectively while regional cities including Newcastle, Reading, Cambridge, Southampton and Manchester are likely to see rate decreases of between 10% and 30%.

Businesses fearing financial difficulty are encouraged to review their options and investigate the many services that are available to them, from corporate recovery to financial institutions.

Senior director of rating at CBRE Tim Attridge has suggested that the multiplier for the rates system is likely to be the highest even seen following a revaluation and has warned businesses to consider how it may impact them.

By Phil Smith

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