The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed the progress of a Bill in Parliament to postpone the next re-evaluation of business rates until 2023.
The Non-Domestic Rating (Lists) (No.2) Bill, would postpone the date on which the next revaluation of business rates in England and Wales takes effect until 1st April 2023. The Scottish Government has also committed to delay its revaluation until the same date.
The debate also covered the need for financial support for convenience stores materially affected by the pandemic, beyond March when existing policies are set to expire.
During the House of Lords debate, Lord Stunell OBE said: “If the Chancellor has acknowledged the acute pressures facing retail businesses by granting them business rates relief, and if he pays heed to what the Association of Convenience Stores and many others have had to say about extending that scheme, surely there has to be some joined-up thinking across government departments.”
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Business rates is one of the biggest financial and administrative burdens faced by retailers and we are calling for the Government to commit to three-yearly revaluations from 2023 and to continue exploring ways to improve the system to better support retailers and incentivise investment.
“We welcome the progress of this Bill to postpone the revaluation as this will allow local shops to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, the true extent of which is still unknown.”
The fundamental review into business rates is set to conclude at the 2021 Budget, due to be delivered by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 3rd March.
In its submission ACS called on the Chancellor to ensure to extend the business rates discount in 2021/22 to avoid a ‘sudden shock’ of high rates bills while stores are still dealing with the impact of the pandemic.