The Government has announced that retailers across England are in line for a major tax cut over the next two years. Retailers in properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will have a third wiped off the amount of tax they pay through business rates. The change announced in the Budget will cut bills for up to 90pc of small retail properties, according to the Treasury. The new rules will come into force from April next year and last for two years, until the next revaluation of business rates in 2021 and were announced as part of the Government’s Autumn budget.

Responding to the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget statement, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry said  “The Chancellor has shown that he is now listening to the small business community. By acting on FSB’s recommendations for high streets, VAT and the Employment Allowance, the Treasury is set to provide some much-needed lifelines for thousands of small firms.”

“Small businesses on our high streets that cannot get Small Business Rate Relief will be delighted with the significant discount for the next two years, which on average will help these businesses to the tune of almost £2,000 each, but potentially up to around £16,000 off small businesses facing the biggest bills.

Cherry continued said This is the most small-business-friendly budget that this Chancellor has delivered. He has listened to our requests across many areas of tax and public policy, putting him firmly on the side of Britain’s small businesses. On the tax front, small firms up and down the country will be pleased to see the VAT threshold frozen for two years. FSB was credited in the speech for our campaign on this, stopping an over-reach which would have created a mountain of bureaucracy and a tax-hike for more than a million businesses. I look forward to seeing further innovative changes to VAT post-Brexit.”

“Small businesses on our high streets that cannot get Small Business Rate Relief will be delighted with the significant discount for the next 2 years, which on average will help these businesses to the tune of almost £2,000 each, but potentially up to around £16,000 off small businesses facing the biggest bills. The decision to protect and refocus the Employment Allowance means that small firms will use the £3,000 of help to increase staff hours, improve pay and meet the rising costs of the National Living Wage, boosting jobs and productivity.”

“Through the Budget, the Chancellor is now using the strength of the Treasury to back small business. We have already seen a significant change of tone in recent months towards helping businesses, right from the top of Government, and today represents the change of policy that backs this up. This is long due recognition that small firms are the UK’s job creators and community leaders. The productivity challenge for this country will only be resolved by backing small business, and today marks an important step to achieve this.”

Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said “Sky-high business rates have hampered the high street just as it attempts to compete with the growing stature of online retailers. The Chancellor’s announcement today, echoing our recommendations, should give many firms the breathing space to invest and develop new strategies. But this is ultimately a stop-gap measure at a time when the business rates system requires much wider reform. Support must also be extended to small firms outside the retail sector, and the fact that the tax also acts as a clear disincentive for businesses to invest in improving their properties must also be addressed.”

“The Chancellor showed he has listened to business leaders today with key reforms on business rates, the Apprenticeship Levy and the Annual Investment Allowance. But for all of the individual positive measures, including money for infrastructure upgrades, this was a Budget that pulled its punches. Going into this Budget, IoD members urged the Chancellor to prioritise help for Brexit preparations. It is not enough simply to announce a potential ‘no-deal Brexit budget’, businesses need to get ready now. While we hope the Chancellor’s confidence that there will be Brexit deal is well-placed, firms have to look at all possible scenarios and will be deeply disappointed to see no funds have been allocated to helping them map out potential outcomes.”