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Colliers Calls for Business Rates Holiday for ALL UK companies for Six Months– not just in Retail and Leisure

19 03 20 restaurant rates

On top of current reliefs, Colliers estimate this will cost around £9 billion- but will be money well spent to keep British business functioning.


The Chancellor’s massive package to help the retail and leisure industries announced at the beginning of the week is incredibly welcome according to John Webber, Head of Business Rates at Colliers International, but does not go far enough to support the wide span of businesses impacted by Covid-19, which also need some respite from the crippling property tax.

According to Colliers, retail and leisure are not alone in being crucial to the UK economy- telecoms, financial services, manufacturing are also key.  “Every business plays its part and every business is suffering at the moment and likely to do so going forward for the next few months due to forces outside their control. We really must support them- and a package of cheap loans is not enough.”

Webber continues, “Rather than giving stage by stage offerings to whichever sector is shouting loudest – today nurseries were granted business rates relief, tomorrow it will be someone else- the Government should have a consistent across the board approach. We would suggest giving every business a six months holiday, to be reviewed at the end of that six months to see if it should be extended for the year.”

Currently the business tax take is around £26 billion net, of which the retail sector pays around one quarter, around £7.625 billion. Given the rates holiday for retail already announced, that leaves a bill of over £18 billion for the year. A six months holiday to all companies would therefore cost the government around £9 billion, which is not out of the realms of possibility, given the other amounts the government has been discussing.

According to Webber, some billing authorities* have already announced they are not going to be actually collecting rates in April in any case- so this shows some are already considering their own deferment schemes. Webber feels we should rather see uniformity across the board and the benefits given to every business in every local authority and funded by central Government. “Otherwise businesses will take matters into their own hands- and simply not pay.”

And I would include offering empty rates property relief also. A landlord that has had a property empty for over three months is paying full business rates on this. Yet the landlord has not a hope in re-letting the property in the current economic climate. The Government should recognise this and provide relief accordingly. Property landlords include some of our key pension funds and institutions. Any fall out from them will impact on the man on the street’s pension pot, so only exacerbating the current issues.”

Webber concludes, “The Chancellor ‘s speech should be applauded in starting to provide support for one of our most critical sectors. But it is not the whole story. We say “get it done” and grant a full six months business rates holiday, at the least, - before it all becomes too little too late."

*For example, Sheffield City Council


Related Experts

John Webber

Head of Rating

Rating

Birmingham

I have over 30 years’ experience in the rating industry and lead a 90 plus rating team at Colliers International.  When I took over responsibility for the team in 2005, it consisted of only a dozen people and has now grown into one of the leading rating advisory teams in the country.  I am a member of Colliers International Management Executive as well as sitting on the company’s promotion panel. 

I am regularly called upon by the national media to give my views on a range of business rates issues and I am vocal commentator on the 2017 Revaluation.

I started my career in the Valuation Office Agency in Kidderminster.  I joined Gerald Eve in 2000 where I spent 10 years before moving to Gooch Webster (now Colliers International). I sit on the National Retail Panel of Rating Surveyors Association which provides guidance on how the RSA town committees work with the VOA and valuation matters.  John sits on the RICS Rating Diploma Committee having passed the prestigious qualification in 2014.

Philip Harrison and I founded 'Accurates' in 2007, the Collier's Compliance and Audit team, which although forms an integral part of the Rating Team is now a leading brand in its own right.

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Hannah Zitren

Associate Director

Marketing & Communications

Manchester

I am responsible for media relations and generating coverage in top tier broadcast and print media. I work across a range of Colliers’ UK & Pan-EMEA business lines advising on their strategic and tactical PR needs.

My role includes:

·         Developing and executing PR plans for the various business lines to help promote their key messages across all aspects of the media - print, broadcast and social.

·          Media evaluation and reporting objectives, targets and successes across the business.

·         Reputation management and crisis management.

·         Media training.

·         Media engagement: setting up meetings with top tier media and various internal spokespeople to continuously expand and build a presence with property and vertical media network.

·         Consistently delivering service excellence, meeting with business heads of a regular basis and trying to influence the research as much as possible to ensure our content has a strong enough news hook.

·         Key campaigns that I work on include MIPIM; MAPIC; REVO; Midsummer Retail Report; IHIF; Cities of Influence in addition to a host of all alternative property sector research reports.

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