Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Essex Chamber of Commerce welcomes Chancellor’s support for high street

Essex Chambers of Commerce welcome Chancellor’s support package for UK high streets

COMMENTING on the Chancellor’s proposals for the high street in the upcoming Autumn Budget, David Burch, Director of Policy at Essex Chambers of Commerce, said:

“We’re delighted that the Chancellor has heeded the British Chambers of Commerce calls to abandon the uprating of business rates for the high street for the next two years, and gone further by cutting bills for the vast majority of high street firms. It’s crucial that we support our town centres as they find their place in a changing world.

Essex Chamber of Commerce

“An alarming number of high street firms, both large and small, are closing or being earmarked for closure. This deterioration has cost thousands of jobs since the start of 2018. While there are long-term structural changes taking place, including changes to consumer habits, the tipping point for many of these firms has been the unnecessarily large burden that business rates place on them. Therefore, this short-term reduction in rates will be very welcome news to those on the high street who require urgent respite.

“Business rates are a heavy burden that throttle all firms with steep bills regardless of how well they’re doing or the economy is faring. We have also called on the Chancellor to ensure that all businesses have a 12 month delay on increased business rate bills when improving an existing property or moving to a new premises. In the long term we will continue to call for fundamental reform of the broken business rates system.”

On planning reform, David said:

“Greater flexibility in the planning system for mixed-use property is good news for those businesses that wear several hats, but we’ve already seen high streets being hollowed out by the encroachment of residential spaces. For high streets to thrive they need a balance of tenants, and we’ve already seen unintended consequences from previous planning reforms.

“We need to be cautious about making it easier to turn business properties into residential ones, especially when demand for employment land is already at a premium. Sacrificing business land for the sake of housing leaves no room for the commercial spaces that are fundamental to job and prosperity creation on the high street and elsewhere.”


  1. This Business rates patch is useless and does not solve the fundermental problem.
    Try comparing business rates with other countries and what businesses in downtown and retail lcations pay.

    Now add the much larger problem out there. Rent and leases. which is FAR mor a dent in success.
    with 25 year 5 yearly review upwardly only rent increases and other things.

    It is nearly commercial suicide starting a small retail store in the UK.

    But you didnt mention the rents and leases issue and my question is why is that? But then we all know.

  2. Business rates are a killer blow to small business, I know.

    Rents and leases you have a choice. Rates are imposed upon a business regardless and you get nothing for your money…you even have to pay again to dispose of rubbish.

  3. Chancellor can support small business as much as he wants…

    …unless people visit these shops instead of buying online High Streets will continue to die.

  4. Your absolutely right Ed.

    My prediction for the next 10 years is we will lose nearly every small business as rates, wages, regulation, taxation and thieving increases like we have seen in the past five years.

    Mark my words.


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