The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called on the Department for Communities and Local Government to ensure that small businesses do not lose out as a result of plans to allow local authorities to keep 100% of their business rates income.
Under the proposals, local authorities will be incentivised to permit large business developments to retain the extra business rates revenue. In its submission to the consultation on rates retention, ACS has raised concerns that local authorities do not currently use the powers they have to reduce rates in their area, and that rates retention will do little to incentivise small business growth.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Business rates are one of the biggest fixed costs for thousands of retailers, especially those trading in urban areas and on petrol forecourts. We believe that the business rates system needs to incentivise growth in both large and small businesses, which is why we have called on the Department for Communities and Local Government to ensure that when local authorities gain more power over rates in their area, they use those powers to decrease the rates multiplier and to use discretionary rate relief to drive investment.”
In its submission, ACS also called on the Government to ensure that the introduction of the Infrastructure Levy does not affect small businesses and that there are robust procedures for consultation with businesses for the introduction of the levy.