The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has highlighted Business Rates as a key issue in its submission to the new

chancellor ahead of the upcoming Emergency Budget.

The ACS said forecourts had been hardest hit of all businesses in the sector by the latest revaluation and urged the government to press for further analysis into the rating scheme used by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

The submission, which set out the key concerns of the local c-store sector in advance of the Emergency Budget on June 22nd, stated: "There are three main issues that forecourt retailers have to contend with: on site shops are rated by turnover not the zoning method (used in all other retail outlets), the application of oil company and supermarket fuel margins to independent sites and a 20% rates charge on car wash turnover in an increasingly competitive market... further analysis is needed into the VOA’s rating scheme."

In its submission, it also asked George Osborne "to think carefully about the alternatives before imposing new taxes or costs".

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "We need a new strategy to clamp down on illegal tobacco and alcohol sales in neighbourhoods, pubs and out of the back of white vans.

"The chancellor must explore every option for tackling the deficit before imposing greater costs through taxation. Number one priority should be the five billion in lost revenue through smuggled tobacco and alcohol."

It also set out concerns about bank lending, changes to VAT and spiraling employment costs.