It was fantastic to have Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Andrea Leadsom, in Helston over the weekend, especially fitting given that it was Small Business Saturday. We spoke to local business owners and managers about Conservative plans to cut business rates and invest in our high street. There was lots of support for our proposals, especially reducing business rates, which are one of the top concerns of British businesses. A Conservative majority Government will launch a fundamental review at our first budget, consulting widely. We will reduce the overall burden of business rates as part of this review.
Indeed, new analysis found that the average shop in the South West will save over £7,200 in business rates from next April under a turbo-charged retail rate relief:
How business rates are to be cut for shops across England:
- Cutting business rates on local shops: The average shop will save £8,400 in business rates from next April under a turbo-charged retail rate relief, halving bills for local firms. Hundreds of small music venues and cinemas which currently pay business rates will also now qualify for the retail relief discount, helping to cut their costs. Pubs will also benefit from a further £1,000 rates cut on top on of the retail rate relief. Business rates are the third biggest outgoing for firms after rent and staffing costs.
- Cutting the costs of hiring shop staff: Conservatives are also pledging to cut the “jobs tax” on hiring staff. Shops pay National Insurance on their employees’ earnings. The Employment Allowance will be raised from £3,000 to £4,000, which will provide a tax cut of up to £1,000 for more than half a million businesses. This will amount to almost a half a billion-pound tax cut for small firms.
- Helping shops renovate premises: On top of this, taxes will be cut on doing up shops’ premises. Since 2018, the Structures and Buildings Allowance gives tax relief to businesses on the purchase, building or leasing of a structure. It includes renovation, repair and conversion costs, and fitting out works. Conservatives will increase the allowance from 2 to 3 per cent, to give a significant boost to investment in shops’ premises.
- New government funds to support towns: On top of tax cuts, a £3.6 billion Towns Fund will go to an initial 100 towns to improve their local economy and support their town centres. A new Safer Streets Fund will invest in preventative measures like new CCTV or community wardens. And to boost new civic infrastructure, the largest cultural capital programme in a century will provide £250 million to help local libraries and regional museums.
Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said:
“Local shops are at the heart of our communities, but have faced tough competition from the rise in online shopping. We will cut taxes on local shops – so they pay less in business rates, reduce job taxes and make it cheaper to do up their properties.
“A Conservative majority government will get Brexit done immediately, and unleash Britain’s potential. We will stand up for the parts of our county and community which have been left behind.”