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Thousands of London Businesses Rely on Rates Relief

8th February 2021

As the business rates initiative reaches its final months, recent figures have highlighted just how many businesses have been forced to rely on the scheme throughout the capital.

Specifically targeted at businesses operating in the retail, leisure and hospitality industries, the holiday offered a 100% reduction in payable rates for the 2020/2021 tax year. However, with the scheme set to conclude at the end of March, many have begun to question how the government will continue to support their business going forwards.

Approximately 73,000 London businesses took advantage of the initiative, which comprised roughly 20% of all business across the city, saving a total of around £3 billion. By far the biggest contribution of this savings figure was from businesses occupying the locations where rates are highest. The c. 7,000 companies located across Westminster saved close to a billion pounds since the scheme was implemented.

In a recent press release, Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, referenced the upcoming conclusion of the holiday by stating that:

“They must better support businesses to stop them falling before the finish line, and indeed once they’ve reached it…Extension of the VAT and business rate relief periods would show government understand that our economy will not fully recover until vaccination rollout is complete and London’s tourism and global economy recovered – which will be beyond Spring realistically.”

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