In the November budget, Phillip Hammond announced a re-evaluation of the value of business properties across the country. The consequence of these re-evaluations is that business rates have increased enormously. This has put a number of small businesses under real pressure.
Bristol has been one of the worst cities affected by the changes with entertainment venues and pubs being hit particularly hard. The Bristol Post reports that one pub will go from paying nothing in business rates to over £3,000 as of April next year. Similarly, The Beer Emporium on King Street has nearly doubled in value meaning their rates have increased to over £23,000 per year.
South West Business also reported on this subject detailing that the total rise across Bristol will be a massive £16,351,600. However, there is a little good news in the sense that the government will be providing some ‘transitional relief’ to help cushion the blow to businesses.
Bristol has always had a strong reputation for great music venues and a lively night life and this hike in business rates could either spell disaster for the businesses themselves or increase the cost of an evening out for the end punter. Around 40% of live music venues across the UK have been forced to close over the last 10 years and some commentators say the recent business rates hike is just another nail in the coffin for these businesses.
As a small business ourselves, we at Johnston Horsburgh have to stay on our toes to make sure we keep on top of changes like these. We also aim to help our clients keep abreast of these changes and help them prepare for change.
Has your business been affected by the business rates hike? If so, you can find out more information on business rates and how to appeal your rate on Bristol.gov.uk.