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Business rates relief welcomed by retailers

But more still needs to be done, say campaigners

02 November, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

Councillor Asima Shaikh with Hak Huseyin, vice-chairman of Islington Chamber of Commerce

ISLINGTON Chamber of Commerce and the Town Hall has welcomed government announcements regarding business rates, but said more still needs to be done.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said in his autumn Budget that small retailers with a rateable value of £51,000 or less could have a third knocked of their bill under a new two-year business rates relief scheme.

Hak Huseyin, vice-chairman of ICC, said: “We are happy that our efforts alongside Islington Council and the Town Centre Groups have been heard, this is a real lifeline for businesses in the borough.”

He said the government must still revaluate the business rates system as not to “cripple” businesses.

Cllr Asima Shaikh, executive member for inclusive economy and jobs, said that the reduction was welcome but short-term, adding: “Without fundamental reform of the system, local firms will be at the mercy of the next government revaluation in 2021, which is likely to see bills rise even further.

“At the very least, businesses need the government to make this temporary discount permanent, or follow our calls to permanently raise Small Business Rate Relief, which would help hundreds of Islington’s smaller businesses, many of which are struggling to survive on the high street.”

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