The NFRN has produced a nine point plan for overhauling the business rates system which it says will transform high streets from hollow shells to centres of communities.
Having been vocal about the need for an overhaul of this outdated and penalising arrangement in the past, the Federation has today sent its proposal to the Treasury, as part of the department’s consultation on the long term future of the system.
NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter said: “The business rates system has forced many independent retailers out of business, leaving high streets hollow shells of their former glory as the centre of communities.
“We have watched as many reviews and evaluations of the high street have been and gone, offering the chance to renew and innovate towns, villages and cities, presenting the opportunity to return these once popular destinations to the hubs they used to be.
“Unfortunately, many of the recommendations have been met with a lacklustre response, stifling their ability to make a difference, and allowing the prolonged dire situation for those businesses that have struggled to survive the economic downturn, through increasing costs and declining footfall.
“The NFRN is determined to make sure that the voice of the small independent retailer is not forgotten in this review. We have conducted research with Jones Lang LaSalle to exemplify the issues faced by independent retailers and to demonstrate how a few alterations to the current system could have an exponential impact on the high street, the retail sector and small businesses across the country.”
The NFRN believes the review of the business rates system can have a decisive result for businesses of all sizes and is urging the government to now act quickly to help businesses in need of support.