There was a lot of pre-Budget speculation that the Chancellor would try to address some of the problems arising for small businesses due to the business rate rises due to come in from April this year. Three measures were announced as follows:
- Businesses that lose their entitlement to some or all of their Small Business Rates Relief (which reduces or eliminates their rates) will be given transitional relief such that their rates increases will be capped at £50 per month.
- Pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 will get a discount of £1,000 on their rates bill for 2017/18.
- Local authorities will be given a fund of £300 million to give discretionary relief for individual hard hit businesses in their locality.
These measures are not particularly far reaching. They are unlikely to silence the voices criticising the disproportionate impact of the rates rises between both the north and the south of the country and the online versus high street businesses.