Restaurants and pubs face steep business rate rise

Posted on News Feb 2017 - by Neil Gerrard -The Caterer
Restaurants and pubs  face steep business rate rise

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has called on the chancellor Philip Hammond to give more transitional relief to pubs and restaurants to lessen the blow of business rate rises due in April.

Some businesses face steep rises in their business rates, which are being updated to take into account changing property values.

In a letter to Hammond, the ALMR, which has previously warned that changes to business rates were “unfair and unworkable” asked for more transitional relief for the hospitality sector and warned that, on average, pubs would see a 15% rise in rates, while restaurants would have to grapple with a 23% rise.

The association represents 90% of managed pub businesses as well as a number of casual dining groups including Wagamama and PizzaExpress.

The increases are predicted to add a further £300m to £500m in additional cost to the hospitality sector, the association claimed, warning that its members were “not prepared for the significant rises resulting from the latest revaluation”.

“We would urge you to consider reviewing the transitional relief provisions and the introduction of sector specific hospitality retail relief,” the letter said, according to the BBC.

“We have already seen evidence of outlets closing as a result of the planned increase. Modern pubs, bars and restaurants are valuable social, economic and community assets — they contribute to our thriving tourism sector, high street regeneration and attract and support significant inward investment.

“As such, they are well placed to capitalise on the opportunities presented by Brexit, but they will not be able to do so if hampered by unsustainable additional costs,” it added.

A statement from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said most businesses would not see a sharp increase in costs.

“Following the revaluation, three-quarters of properties will see no change or even a fall in their bills, and the small minority of businesses that face an increase will benefit from our £3.6bn transitional relief scheme,” it said.

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