Petition Stop business rate rises before they wreck independent high street retailers

Independent retailers in many towns face rate increases which will force them out of business. National chains are pushing up property values, and independents are paying for this in their rates. Higher property values do not mean more turnover. The unintended consequence will be bland high streets.

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The new business rates have an unsound basis. Rising property values are a cost to small retailers, not a source of profit. Increasing rates in line with property values is a double burden which will be the end for many much-loved retailers, and will turn interesting high streets into identical dull parades of chain coffee shops, charity outlets, and predictable national retailers. Local councils should not be wrecking their own high streets. Business rates need to be reconsidered.

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