The decision to offer retail firms discounts on their business rates will help to keep more than 7,000 people in work, one expert believes.
As of this week, companies with rateable values of £50,000 or less will see their rates reduced by £1,000. The measure will then remain in place for the next two years, retail-week.co.uk reports.
The director or the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson, says that as well as safeguarding jobs, the measures will allow shopkeepers to maintain low prices for consumers.
While rates will increase by two per cent, many had expected to see a rise of 3.2 per cent. Secretary of state Eric Pickles was quoted by conservativehome.com as saying: “A key part of the government’s long-term economic plan is to back business with lower taxes.
“Small shops are the lifeblood of local economies, and today’s changes will mean a massive boost to our town centres – helping to create more jobs and securing a better future for our children.”
Mr Pickles went on to suggest that some businesses will be in a position to cut bills by more than a third, with changes that could be “worth thousands of pounds”.
The government also revealed that shopkeepers who take on properties which have been left unoccupied for one year or more will see their rates cut by 50 per cent.
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