Independent retailers have praised Chancellor George Osborne for listening to their needs before announcing major changes to business rates in today’s Budget.
Mr Osborne said the new threshold for small business rate relief will more than double from £6,000 to £15,000 and that 600,000 small businesses would pay no business rates at all from next year, while 250,000 would have their rates cut.
Small shopkeepers were also celebrating after the Chancellor revealed that Corporation Tax would be cut from its current 20% to 19% next year and to 17% by 2020.
The good news came just one week after the NFRN had written to Mr Osborne asking him not to ignore the needs of small and independent retailers when he delivered today’s Budget.
Commenting on today’s announcements, NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter said: “We are delighted that Mr Osborne has listened to the needs of small shopkeepers and taken action on what for many independent store owners has been the most hated of taxes.”
In the NFRN’s letter to Mr Osborne sent last week Mr Baxter had written: “While we support your efforts to restore a strong economy, we feel that small and independent retailers are often forgotten.
However, the NFRN is disappointed that tobacco duty is to rise from 2% from tonight.
Mr Baxter said: “With illegal tobacco putting the livelihood of thousands of legitimate retailers under threat we would have liked to have seen the Chancellor freeze excise rates or only increase them in line with inflation. When tobacco prices rise more adults are lured to illegal traders.”