The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), which represents 6,000 independent retail businesses across the UK including pet shops, has welcomed the results of the government’s inquiry into business rates, but is disappointed with the recommendations for reform.
The report is clear about the current business rates system needing reform by removing complexities, incentivising investment and changing the Check Challenge Appeal process, which Bira agrees with.
Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO, said: “It is clear that the committee has listened to the concerns of retailers about the effects the outdated system is having on business.
However, we would like to have seen stronger recommendations for reform resulting in a reduction in the business rates burden on those businesses struggling the most.
“Hopefully the various political parties will include recommendations from this report in the new election manifestos.”
The committee behind the inquiry, led by Nicky Morgan MP, visited the Bira offices in Birmingham in May to speak with retailers about the burden of business rates.
At that meeting and previous meetings with the Treasury, Bira put forward its own suggestion of a rates-free allowance of £12,000 for the smallest retailers. Bira now hope to have the opportunity to work with the Treasury to test the idea.