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Statement on the Business Rates Review
The Government’s decision to delay the urgently needed review of business rates is a frustrating blow to the recovery of retail and hospitality businesses across the West End. The decision to delay may further threaten the survival of some businesses as they try to recover, and leave many more struggling for the next three years on pre-pandemic business rates, set in a very different economic environment.
We know that many of our occupiers are doing everything they can to attract customers and remain open despite the much-diminished footfall since the start of lockdown. As that footfall begins to come back, we also know they are working to bring back as many employees as possible and this delay by the Government on business rates will only serve to put more jobs and livelihoods in our shops, bars and restaurants at risk.
We continue to do everything we can for our occupiers, looking at innovative ways to help their businesses to survive and recover from the deep economic impact of the pandemic. We recognise that the Government has provided stimulus to try and get more customers back to the retail and hospitality sectors, but we ask that Government reconsiders the timings of this review and acts with urgency to change the damaging, unfair and outdated business rates structure and save as many businesses and jobs as possible.