In news that is sure to provide welcome relief for fashion indies arpund the country, the government has announced a business rates holiday for retailers in the coming year.
Retailers, restaurants and hotels with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be exempt from paying the controversial tax while business rates as a whole will be reviewed with conclusions published by autumn.
The move is part of the government’s “extraordinary” measures to support the UK economy as the country braces itself for a coronavirus epidemic.
“This is a tax cut worth over £1 billion, saving each business up to £25,000,” said Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
Lee Lucas, principle at London’s Fashion Retail Academy, says the news will be welcomed by independent retailers: “Retailers, who have been demanding cuts, will be celebrating today after the much needed announcement that the Chancellor will be slashing their bills. It will be particularly welcome news for fashion retailers after a tricky few years battling intense pressure from online rivals and, now, the full impact of the coronavirus.
“The new cuts will help protect the high street, which is at the heart of our economy and hopefully boost business investment in Britain in the aftermath of our exit from the EU. With this boost we hope to see new fashion retailers on the high street this year and a growth for the sector as a whole.”