The government will be expanding its scheme offering relief on business rates payments to more small businesses, with wholesalers and office-based firms now set to be included.
This will add £1.5 billion to the cost of the scheme, but it is something that many within the business world have greeted warmly – including the Federation of Small Businesses. In a statement issued after the news was announced, Mike Cherry, its chair, said:
“Many of those businesses such as wholesalers, suppliers and brewers have been hit hard by the pandemic but haven’t been able to access the same levels of support.”
Up until now, only companies operating within certain sectors – such as hospitality, leisure and retail – have been able to apply for relief on their business rates payments.
It is not all good news for small firms though, as the government has also announced that it is scrapping the appeals process for COVID-19-related business rates appeals. It is believed that the primary reason for this decision was financial, as the total cost of these appeals was predicted to be as much as £5 billion. Thus, the two announcements amount to savings of £3.5 billion for the Treasury.
However, the government is also stating that it had concerns about companies based out of London benefiting more from this process than others, as well as it being a waste of taxpayers’ money. An accountant for small business in Goole or anywhere else may be able to help firms that are not allowed to appeal against outstanding rates payments on their business properties.