Saturday, 19 August 2017

Business to benefit from rate relief extension

BUSINESSES in Henley have given a cautious welcome to moves to reduce the impact of business rates on them.

BUSINESSES in Henley have given a cautious welcome to moves to reduce the impact of business rates on them.

Chancellor George Osborne has agreed to double small business rate relief for another year and to continue capping the inflation-linked increase in the rates to two per cent.

In his autumn statement, he also announced a review of business rates.

Gillian Nahum, a director of the Henley Business Partnership, said: “The thing is this is not a new initiative and we have got used to it now so if somebody were to take it away from us we would be very disappointed.

“I think it’ll help people to keep going. I don’t think it’ll stop people going out of business because it’s not enough money to do that but it does sweeten the pill.”



Mrs Nahum, who runs Henley Sales and Charter and a shop called Boatique in Friday Street, said business rates were an important issue for companies.

“We don’t get an awful lot for them,” she said. “We have to pay extra to get our rubbish picked up.

“When you look at what we charge for an item, unless you are a multiple, and we have got a lot of them in Henley, it’s tough.”

Henley MP John Howell welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement and plans to hold feedback meetings for businesses to give their views.

He said: “Businesses in the constituency have been very anxious to see changes to business rates and I agree with them.”

In 2013, Mr Howell wrote to Mr Osborne calling for small firms in Henley to be given more relief from business rates.

He suggested the threshold for small business rate relief in Henley be raised from £18,000 to £25,500 in line with that of Greater London and that start-up businesses be given a “holiday” from business rates for the first two years.

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