In light of the impact of the economic impact of the coronavirus, the Government has announced emergency measures to support retail and hospitality businesses, including a 12-month business rates holiday for all firms.
In last week's Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that all hospitality and retail businesses with a rateable value lower than £51,000 would be spared the rates, and last night he extended that pledge to cover businesses of any size.
Small businesses are also being offered a £25,000 grant.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, says: “The Chancellor has acted swiftly to back retail businesses dealing with the unprecedented challenges created by coronavirus. He is to be congratulated for listening carefully to the concerns of retailers and has delivered a big, bold package of measures that will be a huge cashflow boost and will improve confidence for those affected.
“Business rates are a huge burden for retailers at the best of times. The business rates holiday, together with the announcement of a loan package, represent a vital shot in the arm for a sector facing enormous uncertainty. We still need to see the details and make sure that retailers can access cash with the minimum of delay, but it is a welcome and necessary first step to protect jobs.
“The Chancellor has said he will do whatever is necessary to support business and he has shown that he can respond to the changing need of retailers. While these are the right decisions today, the Government may have to take further steps as the full effects of the situation unfold.”