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Government pressures banks to support small independent businesses

3 Apr 2020

The Business Secretary has called on high street lenders to ease access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CBILS) for small independent retailers during the crisis.
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National Living Wage Increases and Future Targets

2 Apr 2020

The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates increased yesterday, following recommendations made to the Government by the Low Pay Commission
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Local Bike Shop Day 2020 postponed following retailer vote

31 Mar 2020

As Local Bike Shop Day is a day encompassing the whole trade, the final judgement was given to the bike shops that had signup to take part. Out of all the respondents the overwhelming majority -... Read more…

IRC supports Government's challenge to business insurers

31 Mar 2020

The Treasury Select Committee led by Mel Stride MP, has challenged the Association of British Insurers (ABI) regarding the support offered to business via their members, with specific regard to... Read more…

Nearst enables you to stay in contact with your customers via Whatsapp

27 Mar 2020

ActSmart partner NearSt introduce the option to add WhatsApp chat functionality on your NearSt shop page!
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eBay Supports Small Businesses by Waiving Fees

27 Mar 2020

eBay has today pledged to support small business owners by offering a 30day payment holiday for existing sellers and is waiving fees for all new businesses registering to list or sell until... Read more…

Deferral of VAT payments as a result of COVID-19

27 Mar 2020

UK VAT registered business with VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 have the option to defer the payment until a later date or pay the VAT due as normal
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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance

27 Mar 2020

Check if you could be covered by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
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Government Announces Three Month Extension for Businesses to File Accounts

26 Mar 2020

The deadline for filing all accounts will be extended by three months for businesses that have been affected by Covid-19
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Help with non-domestic rates in Scotland during coronavirus (COVID-19)

25 Mar 2020

To help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of COVID-19, the Scottish Government has made changes to non-domestic rates (business rates) for 2020-21.... Read more…

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Government Responds to Business Rates Inquiry

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News, Political News

Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) member, ACS, has called on the Government to get on with its fundamental review of business rates after broadly dismissing recommendations made by the Treasury Select Committee.

The Government's official response to the Treasury Select Committee's inquiry on business rates, published on Friday 28th February, defends the operation of the current business rates system and commits to the Committee's concerns being dealt with as part of an upcoming fundamental review.

Issues raised by the Treasury Select Committee as part of their inquiry include:

  • The current approach to business rates acts as an immediate significant disincentive to investment
  • The Government should look at where case law currently stands on what assets are included in rateable values and should consider whether legislation is required to ensure the categories are fit for the modern economy
  • It is unacceptable that there are still appeals outstanding from the 2010 listing, years after the appeals were first raised

In its response, the Government states that it is ‘committed to delivering a tax regime that makes the UK an attractive destination to set up and grow a business'. The response also states that ‘options for reform should be undertaken in a considered, evidence-based manner - considering significant changes to the business rates system as part of conducting a fundamental review.'

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "The Treasury Select Committee inquiry raised a lot of valid points about business rates not being fit for purpose, so if the Government is going to defer to the long awaited fundamental review then that needs to get started as soon as possible. While we wait for this fundamental review, appeals still aren't being dealt with, retailers are putting off investment plans, some businesses are paying business rates bills that are flagrantly unfair, and consumers are seeing their high streets suffer."

Ahead of the Budget on March 11th, ACS has called for the Chancellor to give a much needed boost to businesses by:

  • Ensuring that investment in improving a business doesn't come with the threat of increased rates bills as a result
  • Removing ‘through the wall' ATMs from the rating list altogether
  • Reviewing sector schemes resulting in disproportionate rates bills, notably for petrol forecourts
  • Publishing the terms of reference for the business rates review, to reduce the burden of business rates on business

The full Government response to the Committee's inquiry is available here.

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