Business Rates

16th October 2018

Member of Parliament for The Cotswolds, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, recently led an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on business rates reform.

Through his close work with the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA), Sir Geoffrey called on the Government to replaced small business rate relief with an allowance that would hugely benefit the vast majority of small businesses that currently qualify for the relief.

In his speech, Sir Geoffrey raised his concerns about the national decline of the British high street. More than 8,000 shops have closed over the last 18 months, and one in eight high-street shop units in England and Wales now stand empty.

Sir Geoffrey also referred to an example in Stow-on-the-Wold where the large edge-of-town Tesco store that is only a five-minute walk from the town centre and pays business rates of £220 per square metre whilst a small independent delicatessen in the town centre pays £500 per square metre.

Commenting after the debate, Sir Geoffrey said:

“It is clear for many high streets across the 10 market towns I represent that business rates pose a huge problem. The purpose of calling this debate was so that the Treasury team would have the opportunity to listen to local businesses’ concerns and to say how they will help to stop the decline of high streets across the country.”

For the full debate please click here.


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