Posted On / 07.08.2017

Where is the Promised Relief for Small Businesses?

In April this year, over half a million companies started paying higher business rates. A relief fund of £300 million was promised by the Chancellor Philip Hammond to assist those small businesses which had been hit the hardest.

This increase resulted in an escalation of up to 50% on their interest rates which is a hard pill to swallow for any business, let alone those in the SME sector.

It is debatable when this relief will be paid, even though these businesses starting paying the higher rates in April.

In April the Communities Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that there would be no delay in providing the relief to small businesses and that “it’s going ahead, exactly as planned. Councils are free to start using the scheme and helping local businesses.” Unfortunately, this has not happened (although it could be argued that there was a general election which could have contributed towards the delay), as a vast majority of those effected businesses have not seen any of this relief.

It has been reported by Mike Cherry, the National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, that “55% of small businesses told us they were planning to reduce, postpone or cancel investment in their business. Additionally, 19% of those businesses affected by increased rates said they may ultimately consider closing down or selling their business as a result of the hikes in their bills.”

To assist with these delays, the Federation of Small Businesses, acting as a facilitator, wrote to the Communities Secretary requesting his Department to step in and urge local Councils to implement their local relief schemes without further delay. One question which needs to be asked is when exactly will these reliefs come? Mr Cherry has further predicted that, “looking at the current timetable, businesses won’t get any relief for another month or two at the earliest.”

For further information about relief for small businesses or debt recovery please speak to Angie Loveless, Debt Recovery Manager on 01929 500322 or email angie.loveless@battens.co.uk or visit our Asses and Debt Recovery page by clicking here