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South Hams MP’ Warn of High Street Business Rates

With High streets around the country in severe decline and initiatives like those by Mary Portas failing to revive them, there are serious doubts about the future of High Streets, and the new
Dartmouth BID team faces significant obstacles Last month South Hams Council voted to pass on the £1000 government business rate relief to every business with a rateable value under £50,000 and in Dartmouth this will be welcomed by shopkeepers

But Mary Portas has identified high Business rates and car parking in town centres as the two main obstacles to High Street recovery and in Parliament last week the Business Select committee debated this
According to MPs the present system of charging business rates as a proportion of property rents is no longer fit for purpose, and is frightening away entrepreneurs and fomenting High Street decline.
All the witnesses to the committee said this was the biggest problem and the committee criticised the government’s decision to delay the next business rates re-evaluation from 2015 to 2017.
Much of the competition to High Streets is coming from on – line retailers who do not occupy rateable High Street premises, and a suggestion has been made for business rates to be calculated on business sales not property rents.

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